General Leveling Tips
To find out more general information about leveling as a Druid in Diablo 4, you can check out our main Druid Leveling guide. You can also go to our Druid Builds page for a list of other leveling and endgame Druid builds for you to choose from.
In regard to leveling up on the seasonal realm, you might also want to check out our season checklist, as it will give you some useful tips and tricks for Season 1 of Diablo 4. Don’t miss this chance to make the most out of your leveling journey!Season Checklist
The point of this leveling guide is to quickly take your character from Level 1 to 50 while using the Shred and Poison Creeper as our main damage skills, to prepare you for an easy transition into our Poison Shredder Endgame Build. This guide will review skill point placement as you level from 1 – 50, explaining the purpose and how each passive and skill work together to create power to tackle whatever leveling format you choose. We will also discuss which Legendary Aspects, Affixes, Gem, and Elixirs we can utilize for purposes of accelerating the leveling process.
Our primary skill in this build is Claw as our primary Spirit Generator. We augment this skill using:
- Enhanced Claw – Increasing our Attack Speed.
- Fierce Claw – Makes our attacks include a proportion of the damage as Poison Damage.
Our Core skill in this is Shred. This is our primary spender and what we will be using to cut down the hordes of hell. We augment this skill using:
- Enhanced Shred – This gives our skill an increase in Attack Speed and adds a heal to our attacks.
- Primal Shred – This increases the Critical Damage for our second and third stage of our attack.
Lastly, we use Poison Creeper for a large AoE attack against large packs of enemies. We augment this skill by using:
- Enhanced Poison Creeper – Immobilizes enemies who are struck by this skill.
- Ferocious Poison Creeper – Increases the overall Poison Damage.
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 the limited pool of Malignant Heart drops until World Tier 3 is unlocked. All other heart option become available in World Tier 3, so if you do not find one of these right away – do not worry. Malignant Hearts are primarily farm in the endgame.
Allocation of Skill Points
Your first 20 skill points are used to acquire all of your skills, filling in passive points only as needed to get to the next tier. The allocation of these points is listed below.
As you can see in the table above, we have all of our skills and our Key Passive, this completes our entire skill bar relatively quickly (which if you are making a Seasonal Character you already start with 10 skill points so it is even faster). Remember the Werebear skills in the table above: Maul, Pulverize and Debilitating Roar, are only taken until you find the Legendary Aspect Dire Wolf’s Aspect. This Aspect turns you into a Direwolf and you can use your Werewolf skills while in Grizzly Rage. You will be able to imprint this Aspect to an Amulet at Level 25 for an added bonus to its benefits. You can only remove the three Werebear skills in the table above after you have the Dire Wolf’s Aspect, if you don’t you will have no skills while in your Ultimate form.
Your complete skill bar will look like this:
Now that you are ready to fight the hordes of hell with all your skills filled out, we can fill in your passive points with each level up. As for which passives to take once you have completed your skill loud out and Key Passive, we recommend the following ranked by importance.
- Shred to Level 5
- Poison Creeper to Level 5
- Call of the Wild Level 3
- Digitigrade Gait Level 3
- Predatory Instinct Level 3
- Ancestral Fortitude Level 1
- Vigilance Level 3
- Quickshift Level 3
- Heightened Senses Level 3
- Elemental Exposure Level 1
- Charged Atmosphere Level 1
- Neurotoxin Level 1
- Envenom Level 3
- Toxic Claws Level 3
- **** Endless Tempest Level 3 **** Only if you do not need the Werebear skills anymore.
Here is the completed skill tree for the build:
Let’s review each cluster in the Skill Tree and discuss our reasons behind each passive and skill choice, so we have a good understanding of the build before we transition into the Poison Shredder Endgame Guide. Let’s take a look at each of these now. Keep in mind, if you are leveling a new seasonal character you will have some additional skill points to spend at the beginning.
Claw this is our Spirit Generator and a source of poison for our character. This build utilizes and will stack Poison Damage buffs as we continue to level all the way until 50. We take the single point in Maul so we can use the skill during our Ultimate form: Grizzly Rage.
This build utilizes the Core Werewolf skill Shred, this skill builds its damage through the combination of a three-staged attack. The initial stage dashes towards targets in a forceful engagement to strike for 43% skill damage. The attack continues with a second simple strike for 60% skill damage, and ends with a larger finishing move that strikes for 119% skill damage as a cone attack in front of your character. Shred will be our primary Spirit spender.
This build focuses on further developing the damage of the Shred with bonuses provided by Enhanced Shred and :Primal Shred. These two extended skill properties provide the build with the following benefits:
- Increased attack speed.
- A 1% Life heal per enemy struck.
- An increase to critical damage dealt.
In addition, we will be selecting Digitigrade Gait for the increase in movement speed and Predatory Instinct for the increased Critical Strike Chance against close enemies. Lastly, we take Pulverize as a skill for our Ultimate form Grizzly Rage.
Our Defensive cluster has a single skill: Blood Howl. This will offer us an increase in Attack Speed and a great heal, also Enhanced Shred will offer us a reduction in cooldown for every enemy we kill. This skill will also trigger the two passive skills, Ancestral Fortitude and Vigilance, giving us an increase in Damage Reduction. Finally, we take Debilitating Roar for use in Grizzly Rage.
- Enhanced Poison Creeper – This will Immobilize enemies struck by this skill.
- Ferocious Poison Creeper – Increase the amount of damage by increasing the length of the Poison Damage over time.
The main skill we chose here is Hurricane. This skill is a great bonus damage ability and helps to put enemies into a state of Vulnerability. We augment the ability with the choices below:
- Enhanced Hurricane – Enemies are Slowed.
- Natural Hurricane – Enemies hit by this skill become Vulnerable.
We also pick up many passives points to help enhance our Hurricane with increased duration, added Vulnerability triggers and a bonus lightning attack when Hurricane strikes an enemy. We also take the passives Neurotoxin, Envenom and Toxic Claws. These passive abilities target Poisoned enemies to increase your Critical Strike Damage against them and adds a slow to any poisoned enemy.
For our Ultimate skill we are using Grizzly Rage. This is an amazing ability that ramps up our damage and adds a Fortification buff to us while it is activate. Using our Boons and the Aspect of the Rampaging Werebeast to increases its duration. This skill should used against Elites and Bosses. The passives we pick in this section also enhance our Damage Reduction and Damage while we are in Werewolf form. While in this form, we will be using our Werebear skills: Maul, Pulverize and Debilitating Roar.
Ursine Strength is our choice for the increase in Damage while we remain Healthy (Life above 80%.) This still applies to us while we are in Werewolf form. This will amplify all of our abilities and remain as a buff as long as we keep our Life topped off. However, while in Grizzly Rage form we will benefit from the increase in Health.
Mechanics and Playstyle
This build is a brawling build, forcing us to jump into the action and use our Claw and Shred rotations to generate Spirit and then dump all of it using our Core skill. We also use the very powerful skill Poison Creeper to take out large packs of enemies. This skill has the unique ability to immobilize enemies, opening the opportunity for our Shred to dash between the mobs and finish them off quickly.
As we continue to use our Poison Creeper and Shred to take out the standards mobs, we will eventually square off against an Elite or Boss. This is where our Grizzly Rage will come in. This Ultimate skill will transform us into a bear and we will use our Werebear skills (Maul, Pulverize and Debilitating Roar) to tank and take down the enemy. We will also gain additional health from our Key Passive Ursine Strength to help us in the fight.
Our defensive skills are Blood Howl and Hurricane when we are not in Grizzly Rage. Blood Howl will provide us with a heal and increased Attack Speed and reset its cooldown as you kill enemies quickly. Hurricane will batter enemies with Nature Magic putting them into a Vulnerable state. These two skill will not be available during Grizzly Rage and should be cycled while you are in the proper states, Human for Hurricane (best to use in between fights or packs of enemies) and Werewolf for Blood Howl.
Overall, you will be brawling with this build and utilizing your Poison Creeper to keep control of the battlefield and inflict massive Poison Damage to everyone around you.
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.
While leveling to 50, you will gain the most benefits from once again focusing on enhancing your Poison Creeper skill as much as possible. The Boon setup below will allow for Lucky Hit strikes to have a chance to reset the cooldown of the Poison Creeper skill through the Packleader Boon. It will also increase your maximum time in your Ultimate form Grizzly Rage.
|Boon Name||Master Animal||Effect|
|Wariness||Deer||Take 10% reduced damage from Elites|
|Scythe Talons||Eagle||Gain 5% increased Critical Strike chance|
|Packleader||Wolf||Lucky Hit: Critical Strikes have a 20% chance to reset companion skills|
|Energize||Wolf||Lucky Hit: Dealing damage has up to a 15% chance to restore 10 spirit|
|Masochistic||Snake||Lucky Hit: Critical Strikes with Shapeshifting skills have a 75% chance to heal you for 3% maximum life|
In the early levels, targeting affixes on your gear can be very challenging. Part of the reason is we will be playing in world tier 1 or 2 and the best opportunity for rare gear is a maximum of 3 affixes. So the list below will show us the best four options to choose from.
|Gear Slot||Targeted Affixes|
|Helm||1. Cooldown Reduction|
2. Rank Up Poison Creeper
3. Maximum Life
|Chest||1. Maximum Life|
2. Damage Reduction while Fortified
3. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
4. Damage Reduction Enemies that are Poisoned
|Gloves||1. Critical Strike Chance|
2. Ranks of Shred
3. Attack Speed
|Pants||1. Maximum Life|
2. Damage Reduction while Fortified
3. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
4. Damage Reduction from Enemies That are Poisoned
|Boots||1. Movement Speed|
2. Damage Reduction while Injured
3. Spirit Cost Reduction
|Amulet||1. Cooldown Reduction|
2. Spirit Cost Reduction
3. Damage Reduction while Fortified
4. Shapeshift Damage
|Rings||1. Vulnerable Damage|
2. Critical Strike Chance
3. Maximum Life
4. Resource Generation
|Weapons||1. Vulnerable Damage|
2. Basic Skill Damage
3. Core Skill Damage
The Legendary Aspects chosen below are all available from the Codex of Power, so each Aspect can be found from Dungeons in the open world. If possible, finding each of these Aspect on a piece of Legendary gear will offer you a better roll compared to the Codex of Power.
|Gear Slot||Legendary Aspect||Legendary Aspect Power|
|Helm||Aspect of Might||Basic Skills grant 20% Damage Reduction for [2.0-6.0] seconds.|
|Chest||Aspect of Disobedience||You gain [0.25 – 0.50%] increased Armor for 4 seconds when you deal any form of damage, stacking up to [15.00 – 30.00%].|
|Gloves||Aspect of the Tempest||Hurricane damage is increased by [10-18%] each second while active.|
|Pants||Vigorous Aspect||Gain [10.0 – 15.0%] Damage Reduction while Shapeshifted into a Werewolf.|
|Boots||Eluding Aspect||Becoming Injured while Crowd Controlled grants you Unstoppable for 4 seconds. This effect has a [40-20] second Cooldown.|
|Amulets (50% bonus)||Stormclaw’s Aspect||Critical Strikes with Shred deal [20 – 30%] of the damage dealt as Lightning damage to the target and surrounding enemies.|
|Ring||Aspect of the Rampaging Werebeast||The duration of Grizzly Rage is increased by [1 – 5] seconds. In addition, Critical Strikes while Grizzly Rage is active increase your Critical Strike Damage by 10% for the duration.|
|Ring||Aspect of the Umbral||Restore [1-4] resource of your Primary Resource when you Crowd Control an enemy.|
|Two-handed Weapon (200% bonus)||Aspect of the Expectant||Attacking enemies with a Basic Skill increases the damage of your next Core Skill cast by [5-10%], up to 30%.|
There two very good Legendary Aspects to keep an eye out for while you are leveling; if you come across either of them, use the notes below and switch them into the noted slots.
- Dire Wolf’s Aspect – this is incredibly important for our Ultimate skill and it frees us up points in our skill tree. It should be imprinted (Level 25 minimum) onto the Amulet gear slot for the 50% bonus.
- Aspect of the Blurred Beast – this is very big damage boost and should be imprinted onto the weapon slot, preferably on a Two-handed weapon.
These are drop only Aspects and can be found on various Legendary gear. If the drop is an Amulet or Weapon use the drop you received, if not store the item in your stash until you can use the imprint skill after Level 25.
Once you hit Level 50 with this leveling build, you will be ready to complete your first Capstone Dungeon and unlock World Tier 3. This will open up the true endgame and allow you to collect new Scared Rares and Legendary Aspects you will need to transition into the Poison Shredder Endgame Guide. Once you upgrade your build to the Endgame build, you will be ready to push into Nightmare dungeons, World Tier 3 Capstone Dungeon, the Paragon Board system and so much more.
- August 30th 2023, Creation of Leveling Guide