Twisting Blades Rogue Leveling Build Guide for Diablo 4 (Season 1)

Rapidly stab your foes to level quickly with Twisting Blades!




Theorycraft Build Maker and Content Creator

Updated: Posted:

Twisting BladesPunctureDashShadow StepConcealmentShadow Imbuement

Build Introduction

The Twisting BladesTwisting Blades Rogue leveling build rapidly impales foes with dual-wielded weapons. This is your leveling guide for Diablo 4, with the maximum Skill Point allocation at Level 50. Let us go over the build mechanics, character progression, and playstyle!

Twisting BladesTwisting Blades deals high single target damage with 2 hits per cast. In addition, the piercing effect of the returning blades can be used to kill multiple enemies at a time with proper positioning. This fast-paced burst leveling build is highly recommended for new players starting their first Rogue character.

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

Check out the Rogue leveling page for an overview of all our builds and general tips for leveling.

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Season of the Malignant

Season 1 Patch Updates

The following list details the changes in the Season 1 Patch Update that may pertain to leveling a Rogue.

  • Siphoning Strikes now also requires a Lucky Hit chance of 75%.
  • Advanced Rapid Fire duration increased from 3 to 5 seconds.
  • Concealment Stealth duration increased from 4 to 5 seconds.
  • Methodical Dash maximum Cooldown reduction increased from 3 to 4 seconds.
  • Enhanced Cold Imbue Lucky Hit Chance increased from 30% to 40%.
  • Aspect of Retribution bonus damage to Stunned reduced from 20-40% to 10-20%.
  • Aspect of Disobedience maximum stacks reduced from 100 to 60, reducing maximum Bonus Armor
  • % from 25%-50% to 15%-30%.
  • Vengeful Aspect Lucky Hit Chance increased from 30-50% to 40-60%.

In addition to the Rogue specific changes, multiple sources of Critical Strike Damage and Vulnerable Damage were reduced globally for all classes. Rogues did not receive any major nerfs to damage directly to their class. The biggest direct change to Rogues is the addition of a Lucky Hit Chance requirement for Siphoning StrikesSiphoning Strikes, significantly reducing their ability to tank hits from an entire group of enemies. All other classes received much heavier nerfs, making Rogue a top pick for Season 1.

Best Malignant Hearts Tier List for Rogue Leveling

The Season 1 theme introduces Malignant Hearts that provide build-altering bonuses. The hearts are divided into 4 categories, each with a color that needs to be socketed in the corresponding colored Malignant Socket on equipped jewelry. Wrathful Hearts are a special case due to their rarity, and can be placed in any Socket. 

Always socket Malignant Hearts instead of a SkullSkull in Jewelry. Malignant Hearts provide an Armor bonus that scales with its Item Power.

Listed below is the Malignant Heart Tier List for Twisting Blades Rogue leveling, ranked by importance. Stats displayed reflect what a Level 20 character would receive as a drop.

  1. Caged Heart of The BarberCaged Heart of The Barber (Wrathful, Super-World Tier III): Critical Strikes and all subsequent damage within 2.0-4.0 seconds is absorbed by your target. Then, the absorbed damage erupts onto surrounding enemies. Stored damage is increased by 10% per second. – Fixed in Patch 1.1.1 to work with “on hit” effects and Lucky Hit chance.
  2. Caged Heart of RevengeCaged Heart of Revenge (Brutal, Defensive-World Tier III): 10-20% of incoming damage is instead suppressed. When you use a Defensive, Subterfuge or a Macabre skill, all suppressed damage is amplified by 250% and explodes, dealing up to 1360-2040 Fire damage to Nearby enemies.
  3. Caged Heart of DeterminationCaged Heart of Determination (Devious, Utility): Resource draining effects are 40-50% less effective. In addition, gain 3.0-8.0% increased Resource Generation.
  4. Caged Heart of the Dark DanceCaged Heart of the Dark Dance (Vicious, Offensive-World Tier III): Every 5 seconds while above 60% Life, Core Skills cost 68-51 Life instead of your Primary Resource. Skills that consume Life deal 10-20% increased damage.
  5. Caged Heart of the PicanaCaged Heart of the Picana (Vicious, Offensive): Critical Strikes electrically charge the enemy for 0.75-2.50 seconds, causing lightning to arc between them and any other charged enemies dealing 68-136 Lightning damage.
  6. Caged Heart of Cluster MunitionsCaged Heart of Cluster Munitions (Vicious, Offensive): Lucky Hit: You have up to a 20% chance to launch 3 Stun Grenades that deal 26-32 Physical damage and Stun enemies for 0.50 seconds.
  7. Caged Heart of the ClipshotCaged Heart of the Clipshot (Devious, Utility): Lucky Hit: Up to a 20-40% chance for your Cutthroat Skills to Slow by 40% for 3 seconds and your Marksman Skills to Knock Back enemies.

Skill Tree Points

The following table shows the order in which to allocate your Skill Points for the Twisting Blades 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.

1PuncturePunctureBasic SkillBasic Skill
2Enhanced PunctureEnhanced PunctureBasic SkillBasic Skill
3Twisting BladesTwisting BladesCore SkillCore Skill
4Fundamental PunctureFundamental PunctureBasic SkillBasic Skill
5Enhanced Twisting BladesEnhanced Twisting BladesCore SkillCore Skill
6Improved Twisting BladesImproved Twisting BladesCore SkillCore Skill
7DashDashAgility SkillAgility Skill
8Shadow StepShadow StepAgility SkillAgility Skill
9Twisting BladesTwisting Blades Level 2Core SkillCore Skill
10Twisting BladesTwisting Blades Level 3Core SkillCore Skill
11Twisting BladesTwisting Blades Level 4Core SkillCore Skill
12ConcealmentConcealmentSubterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
13Enhanced StealthEnhanced StealthSubterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
14Countering StealthCountering StealthSubterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
15Twisting BladesTwisting Blades Level 5Core SkillCore Skill
16Enhanced Shadow StepEnhanced Shadow StepAgility SkillAgility Skill
17Shadow ImbuementShadow ImbuementImbuement SkillImbuement Skill
18Enhanced Shadow ImbuementEnhanced Shadow ImbuementImbuement SkillImbuement Skill
19Mixed Shadow ImbuementMixed Shadow ImbuementImbuement SkillImbuement Skill
20Shadow CrashShadow CrashImbuement SkillImbuement Skill
21Consuming ShadowsConsuming ShadowsImbuement SkillImbuement Skill
22Consuming ShadowsConsuming Shadows Level 2Imbuement SkillImbuement Skill
23Consuming ShadowsConsuming Shadows Level 3Imbuement SkillImbuement Skill
24Methodical Shadow StepMethodical Shadow StepAgility SkillAgility Skill
25Adrenaline RushAdrenaline RushUltimate SkillUltimate Skill
26HasteHasteUltimate SkillUltimate Skill
27HasteHaste Level 2Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
28HasteHaste Level 3Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
29ConcussiveConcussiveAgility SkillAgility Skill
30Trick AttacksTrick AttacksAgility SkillAgility Skill
31Trick AttacksTrick Attacks Level 2Agility SkillAgility Skill
32Trick AttacksTrick Attacks Level 3Agility SkillAgility Skill
33ConcussiveConcussive Level 2Agility SkillAgility Skill
34Close Quarters CombatClose Quarters CombatKey PassivesKey Passives
35ConcussiveConcussive Level 3Agility SkillAgility Skill
36Stutter StepStutter StepCore SkillCore Skill
37Stutter StepStutter Step Level 2Core SkillCore Skill
38Stutter StepStutter Step Level 3Core SkillCore Skill
39ExploitExploitSubterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
40ExploitExploit Level 2Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
41ExploitExploit Level 3Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
42MaliceMaliceSubterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
43MaliceMalice Level 2Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
44MaliceMalice Level 3Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
45AgileAgileSubterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
46AgileAgile Level 2Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
47AgileAgile Level 3Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
48SturdySturdyCore SkillCore Skill
49SturdySturdy Level 2Core SkillCore Skill
50SturdySturdy Level 3Core SkillCore Skill
51Siphoning StrikesSiphoning StrikesCore SkillCore Skill
52Siphoning StrikesSiphoning Strikes Level 2Core SkillCore Skill
53Siphoning StrikesSiphoning Strikes Level 3Core SkillCore Skill
54Precision ImbuementPrecision ImbuementImbuement SkillImbuement Skill
55Precision ImbuementPrecision Imbuement Level 2Imbuement SkillImbuement Skill
56Precision ImbuementPrecision Imbuement Level 3Imbuement SkillImbuement Skill
57ImpetusImpetusUltimate SkillUltimate Skill
58ImpetusImpetus Level 2Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill

Twisting Blades Rogue Specialization

The Rogue Specialization can be unlocked at Level 15. Complete the True Potential questline as soon as possible to gain access to the first Specialization option, Combo Points.

Build Combo Points with PuncturePuncture to unleash additional damage for Twisting BladesTwisting Blades. This option is preferred for general farming due to the burst damage playstyle.

Twisting Blades
Combo Points Are Counted Above the Skill Bar

Mechanics and Playstyle

The Twisting Blade Rogue leveling build is more involved to play than most others. Twisting BladesTwisting Blades damage is increased by several buffs to cause a devastating hit. Combo Points can be generated for additional damage. Shadow ImbuementShadow Imbuement turns the attack into Shadow damage. Finally, ConcealmentConcealment guarantees your opener to be a Critical Hit. After the first victim is impaled by Twisting Blades, DashDash and Shadow StepShadow Step are used to reposition around other enemies, so the returning blades can hit them. The flying blades retain the damage buffs of the initial impale, including the guaranteed Critical Hit!

Damage is increased further with Close Quarters CombatClose Quarters Combat, MaliceMalice, ExploitExploit, Precision ImbuementPrecision Imbuement and ImpetusImpetus. Survivability is gained through AgileAgile and SturdySturdy, while Siphoning StrikesSiphoning Strikes sustain Life. Finally, Stutter StepStutter Step and HasteHaste speed up movement for faster farming.

Status Effects

The Twisting Blades Rogue utilizes Crowd Control effects to render Elites helpless. Methodical Shadow StepMethodical Shadow Step Stuns for 2 seconds and closes the gap. Follow up with Twisting BladesTwisting Blades to Daze your target. Once Dazed, Critical Hits activate Trick AttacksTrick Attacks to continuously Knock Down the enemy.

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. Stack Damage to Crowd Controlled and Vulnerable Enemies on gear and the Paragon Board to scale your damage further.

AoE Damage Rotation

Explode groups of mobs with the following rotation.

  1. (Optional) Initiate combat with Shadow StepShadow Step to close the gap, targeting the toughest opponent to Stun it.
  2. Immediately activate both ConcealmentConcealment and Shadow ImbuementShadow Imbuement to buff your next attack.
  3. Cast Twisting BladesTwisting Blades one or two times on the target, depending on how tough it is.
  4. Use DashDash or Evade to move through any additional enemies so the returning blades pierce through them.
  5. Use PuncturePuncture to finish off any injured enemies, generate Energy and build Combo Points for your next Twisting BladesTwisting Blades.
  6. Cast additional Twisting BladesTwisting Blades on any remaining enemies with high health.
  7. Repeat the rotation when cooldowns are ready.

Single Target Damage Rotation

Use the following rotation against Bosses for high sustained single target DPS.

  1. (Optional) Close the gap to the target with Shadow StepShadow Step.
  2. Rapidly cast PuncturePuncture three times to build up Combo Points. Stand close enough to the target to hit twice, applying Vulnerable.
  3. If not on cooldown, activate ConcealmentConcealment to guarantee the next Critical Hit.
  4. If not on cooldown, activate Shadow ImbuementShadow Imbuement for more damage.
  5. Cast Twisting BladesTwisting Blades once on the target.
  6. Repeat the rotation. Get into the rhythm of casting 3 Basic attacks for Combo Points before each Twisting BladesTwisting Blades.

Gear Choice and Stat Priority while Leveling

Make sure to pick up all Rare equipment drops that may be upgrades while you are leveling Twisting Blades Rogue. Save Legendary items with useful aspects in your stash to be used later for extraction and imprinting onto well rolled Rare items.

When comparing weapons with similar item levels, Swords are preferred over Daggers for higher damage per hit. The DPS value on ranged weapons doesn’t matter, so prioritize affix values instead. Crossbows are preferred over Bows for the Vulnerable Damage implicit affix.

Listed below are the stat affixes to prioritize on gear for Twisting Blades Rogue leveling, ranked by their importance. Affixes on the same level have roughly the same importance.

1DPS value on one-handed weapons
2+ Rank of Twisting Blades
3+All Damage
+ Damage to Close, Dazed, Stunned, Healthy and Crowd Controlled Enemies
+ Damage with Dual-Wielded Weapons, Core and Cutthroat Skills
+ Damage while Healthy
+ Vulnerable Damage
+ Critical Strike Chance and Damage
+ Attack Speed and Basic Skill Attack Speed
+ Dexterity
4+ Damage Reduction
+ Any Elemental Resistances
+ Dodge Chance
5+ Crowd Control Duration
+ Cooldown Reduction
+ Movement Speed
+ Life and Healing Received

Legendary Aspects and Codex of Power

To unlock Aspects in the Codex of Power, you must complete the corresponding Dungeon where the specific Aspect drops. Bladedancer's AspectBladedancer’s Aspect can be unlocked in the Codex of Power by completing the Jalal’s Vigil dungeon in Scosglen. Visit the Occultist to imprint this Aspect onto an item for Twisting BladesTwisting Blades to orbit you for a short time after they return. Imprint on a Bow or Crossbow for +100% bonus effect on 2-Handed weapons. You do not need to replace your ranged weapon often, as this build doesn’t use any ranged skills. A Crossbow with useful damage increase stats is preferred.

Aspects found on dropped Legendary Items have stronger effects than those applied from the Codex of Power. Additionally, it is important to know that certain Aspects can only be obtained by finding them on a legendary item, and are not accessible through the Codex of Power. Extract Aspects from unusable Legendary Items to imprint them onto well-rolled Rare Items. Avoid imprinting valuable extracted Aspects onto weapons, because weapons they get replaced often while leveling.

We have a dedicated in-depth Aspect and Codex of Power guide that you can check out for more information.

Listed below are all the Aspects found on Legendary items that are important for the Twisting Blades Rogue leveling build. They are listed in order of priority.

Aspect NameLegendary Aspect PowerSource
Bladedancer's AspectBladedancer’s AspectTwisting BladesTwisting Blades orbit for a short time after they return to you, dealing [10 – 15%] of Twisting Blades’ return damage per hit. Based on the distance the blades returned, the orbit damage increases up to [20 – 30%] of the return damage.Jalal’s Virgil, Scosglen
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 RetributionAspect of RetributionDistant enemies have a 8% chance to be Stunned for 2 seconds when they hit you. You deal [20 – 40%] increased damage to Stunned enemies.Abandoned Mineworks, Kehjistan
Ravager's AspectRavager’s AspectShadow StepShadow 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%].Random Drop Only
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
Exploiter's AspectExploiter’s AspectYou have 20% increased Crowd Control Duration. While enemies are Unstoppable, you deal [20 – 50%] increased damage to them.Random Drop Only
Cheat's AspectCheat’s AspectYou take [15 – 25%] less damage from Crowd Controlled enemies. Whenever a Crowd Controlled enemy deals direct damage to you, gain 15% Movement Speed for 2 seconds.Luban’s Rest, Scosglen
Wind Striker AspectWind Striker AspectCritical Strikes grant [8.0 – 16.0%] Movement Speed for 1 second, up to 6 seconds.Shivta Ruins, Kehjistan
Vengeful AspectVengeful AspectLucky Hit: Making an enemy Vulnerable has up to a [30 – 50%] chance to grant 3% increased Critical Strike Chance for 3 seconds, up to 9%.Inferno, Kehjistan


Listed below are the best Gems to socket into gear for each slot type for Rogue leveling.

Elixirs and Health Potions

Visit the Alchemist 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. Craft the highest quality 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.


  • July 18th, 2023: Guide updated for Season 1.
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