The Twisting 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 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 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 Skull 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.
- Caged 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.
- Caged 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.
- Caged Heart of Determination (Devious, Utility): Resource draining effects are 40-50% less effective. In addition, gain 3.0-8.0% increased Resource Generation.
- Caged 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.
- Caged 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.
- Caged 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.
- Caged 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.
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.
Mechanics and Playstyle
The Twisting Blade Rogue leveling build is more involved to play than most others. Twisting Blades damage is increased by several buffs to cause a devastating hit. Combo Points can be generated for additional damage. Shadow Imbuement turns the attack into Shadow damage. Finally, Concealment guarantees your opener to be a Critical Hit. After the first victim is impaled by Twisting Blades, Dash and Shadow 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 Combat, Malice, Exploit, Precision Imbuement and Impetus. Survivability is gained through Agile and Sturdy, while Siphoning Strikes sustain Life. Finally, Stutter Step and Haste speed up movement for faster farming.
The Twisting Blades Rogue utilizes Crowd Control effects to render Elites helpless. Methodical Shadow Step Stuns for 2 seconds and closes the gap. Follow up with Twisting Blades to Daze your target. Once Dazed, Critical Hits activate Trick Attacks to continuously Knock Down the enemy.
Fundamental 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.
- (Optional) Initiate combat with Shadow Step to close the gap, targeting the toughest opponent to Stun it.
- Immediately activate both Concealment and Shadow Imbuement to buff your next attack.
- Cast Twisting Blades one or two times on the target, depending on how tough it is.
- Use Dash or Evade to move through any additional enemies so the returning blades pierce through them.
- Use Puncture to finish off any injured enemies, generate Energy and build Combo Points for your next Twisting Blades.
- Cast additional Twisting Blades on any remaining enemies with high health.
- Repeat the rotation when cooldowns are ready.
Single Target Damage Rotation
Use the following rotation against Bosses for high sustained single target DPS.
- (Optional) Close the gap to the target with Shadow Step.
- Rapidly cast Puncture three times to build up Combo Points. Stand close enough to the target to hit twice, applying Vulnerable.
- If not on cooldown, activate Concealment to guarantee the next Critical Hit.
- If not on cooldown, activate Shadow Imbuement for more damage.
- Cast Twisting Blades once on the target.
- Repeat the rotation. Get into the rhythm of casting 3 Basic attacks for Combo Points before each Twisting 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.
|1||DPS value on one-handed weapons|
|2||+ Rank of Twisting Blades|
+ 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
|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 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 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 Name||Legendary Aspect Power||Source|
|Bladedancer’s Aspect||Twisting 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 Aspect||Skills 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 Expectant||Attacking enemies with a Basic Skill increases the damage of your next Core Skill cast by [5 – 10%], up to 30%.||Underroot, Scosglen|
|Aspect of Retribution||Distant 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 Aspect||Shadow 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 Might||Basic Skills grant 20% Damage Reduction for [2 – 6] seconds||Dark Ravine, Dry Steppes|
|Rapid Aspect||Basic Skills gain [15 – 30%] Attack Speed.||Buried Halls, Dry Steppes|
|Accelerating Aspect||Critical Strikes with Core Skills increase your Attack Speed by [15 – 25%] for 3 seconds.||Random Drop Only|
|Exploiter’s Aspect||You have 20% increased Crowd Control Duration. While enemies are Unstoppable, you deal [20 – 50%] increased damage to them.||Random Drop Only|
|Cheat’s Aspect||You 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 Aspect||Critical Strikes grant [8.0 – 16.0%] Movement Speed for 1 second, up to 6 seconds.||Shivta Ruins, Kehjistan|
|Vengeful Aspect||Lucky 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.
- Weapon: Emerald for Critical Strike Damage to Vulnerable Enemies.
- Armor: Ruby for Maximum Life.
- Jewelry: Malignant Hearts if playing Season 1. Otherwise, Royal Skull for Armor.
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 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.