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Blainie

Which class should I play in Diablo 3?

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This is a question commonly asked by players both new and veteran alike - but which class really is the best for you to play?

Well, only you can come to an actual answer to this question, but we can at least lay out a few facts about each class to help you decide. FIrstly, there are currently 7 classes in Diablo 3:

  • Barbarian
  • Crusader (requires Reaper of Souls)
  • Demon Hunter
  • Monk
  • Necromancer (requires Rise of the Necromancer)
  • Witch Doctor
  • Wizard

They can are each split into "main stat" categories of Intelligence, Dexterity and Strength. The Barbarian and Crusader use Strength, the Demon Hunter and Monk use Dexterity, and lastly the Necromancer, Witch Doctor and Wizard use Intelligence.

Regardless of what their main stat may indicate about the class, they each have different builds that play very differently. When choosing a class, you can choose based on their playstyle, current "meta" position or backstory. While it can be difficult to pick based on playstyle without actually trying it, we've put together a list of the possible builds for each class, as well as the official lore and a meta analysis for the class.

Note: This is taken purely from a performance perspective in terms of the meta position of classes. Every class has multiple builds that can perform well in solo and groups, each being perfectly suitable for playing with friends or if you do not wish to push into the higher rift levels. Do not take the meta position as gospel for the performance of the class at lower levels. Up until Greater Rift 90, any cohesive build can work, just not as efficiently as the meta ones.

Barbarian

Lore from Battle.net

Quote

For ages, the barbarians dwelling in the shadow of Mount Arreat were shaped to be as strong and unyielding as stone. Immense in size and unmatched in ferocity, they were charged from birth with a duty passed through generations: to protect the sacred mountain.

When their homeland was shattered, many barbarians lost faith. They became aimless, haunted by their past, traveling from place to place without honor or direction.

But not all barbarians have given up their vigil. Some still honor the harsh snows of Arreat's summit and prowl the outskirts of its crater. They recall being handed axes and spears at an age when city children were clinging to their toys… and they burn with shame at the failure of their people.

These barbarians strive to find a new purpose for themselves in a changed world, and they will crush any who stand in their way.

Meta Position of Barbarian

The Barbarian is an excellent position to act as a support currently. Their support build is featured in every top pushing 4-player group leaderboard, is a main component of the best speed farming 4-player setup and is an excellent addition to any group.

As a damage dealer, they are generally left to do solo or low level rifting since they do not fill either of the two meta DPS spots currently. In solo, they are still in a very good position and can keep up with many other classes in the leaderboards.

Builds for Barbarian can be found here.

Crusader

Lore from Battle.net

Quote

The leaders of the harmonious Zakarum religion once strove to imprison Mephisto, Lord of Hatred, beneath Travincal temple, preventing him from ever twisting the hearts of humanity again.

They failed.

It was not the first time Zakarum had lapsed; 200 years prior, the cleric Akkhan noticed corruption at the heart of his faith, and sent his acolytes on a far-ranging quest to cleanse it. Akkhan’s “crusaders” were young recruits, chosen for honor and goodness, trained in weaponry and flesh-scouring magics, though their most important quality was unwavering devotion to duty.

Today, the crusaders’ focused quest for purity has broadened. Flimsy “containment” gives evil many opportunities to thrive, and wandering crusaders – often master and apprentice pairs – regularly strike down Sanctuary’s demons. Some fight out of righteousness; others in the hopes that their victories may make corrupt Zakarum whole again. When a crusader's master dies, their student takes up their weapons and their identity…and the crusade continues, even beyond death.

Meta Position of Crusader

In 4-player groups, there is little to no space for a Crusader. Given that they have no support build that currently functions well enough to replace any of the other supports and their damage builds do not fill either of the meta spots, they are often left to solo rifting.

For solo rifting, they are absolutely brilliant, however, and are only rivaled by the Necromancer in terms of performance. With an extremely tanky setup currently ruling the leaderboards, it is one of the simpler builds to play and has devastating results.

Builds for Crusader can be found here.

Demon Hunter

Lore from Battle.net

Quote

Those who call themselves demon hunters are not a people or a nation. They owe allegiance to no king. They are but a remnant – an echo – of those who’ve lost their lives to hellspawn. When their homes are burnt and their families butchered by demons, most newly scarred refugees give up on living – but a few bury their dead, band together, and swear vengeance.

Though they are small in number, hunters track and corner demons in the hopes that, if they can save even one life, their world will be better for it. At the end of a day’s hunt, most still close their eyes and have nightmares in which they see the horrors that brought them together: gore-caked claws, and men and women drowning in their own blood.

Awake, demon hunters see much the same. But, now, in the present, they finally have the power to retaliate.

They dare not dream of victory, or, even less likely, peace. And yet, they hunt. They can do nothing else.

Meta Position of Demon Hunter

Demon Hunters are in an unfortunate position currently, mainly due to not having a specific build that fills any of the meta positions and, when they do, it performs worse than other classes' alternatives. 

For solo play, the Demon Hunter is a solid competitor and, unlike many other classes, has multiple builds in the top positions of the leaderboards. 

There is a special mention warranted for the speed farming builds of Demon Hunter, which are excellent for all forms of Torment (Nephalem Rift and Bounty) farming.

Builds for Demon Hunter can be found here.

Monk

Lore from Battle.net

Quote

Monks of the Sahptev faith train their bodies and minds so that they may become the foremost holy warriors of the land of Ivgorod. Within the cloisters of the Patriarchs, the monks endure harsh trials both physical and spiritual, proving their devotion and attaining unmatched focus.

Daily ritualistic cleansings help monks purify their spirits and overcome the corruption that gnaws at the hearts of all men. In the pursuit of martial perfection, they also hone their legendary balance and clarity, skills that allow them to master both unarmed combat and a diverse array of weapons.

After a lifetime of preparation, anointed monks are permitted to leave their monasteries' halls to serve the decrees of the Patriarchs. The emblem on their foreheads marks them as survivors, achievers, and pillars of their society.

Monks embody the will of Ivgorod’s one thousand and one gods in every step and every strike.

Meta Position of Monk

Monks are currently in a similar position to that of Barbarians, with an excellent Support build for 4-player games. As a damage dealer, they are almost never included in group play, instead sticking to solo play.

In solo play, the Monk performs well but is limited in the build it can use. There are two slight variants, but at high rift levels, these are your only two real choices. 

As with Demon Hunters, it is worth mentioning that Monks are excellent at speed farming in all forms of Torment farming.

Builds for Monk can be found here

Necromancer

Lore from Battle.net

Quote

The Priests of Rathma—also known as Necromancers—live and die by a simple philosophy: that the eternal struggle between light and darkness is never-ending, and that Sanctuary is threatened by both sides of that war. Only by preserving the balance and keeping those opposing forces at bay, one can hope to make the world a better place.

Members of this order are unique , and often reviled for their use of death magic. Though such power is often abused in Sanctuary, the Priests of Rathma strive to use it to preserve to the Balance they hold sacred.

When they do venture out from their home deep within the jungles of Kehjistan, roving Priests of Rathma do whatever it takes to safeguard their world from ruin.

Meta Position of Necromancer

Necromancers are in an excellent position both as a damage dealer and support. In the 4-player groups, they can perform at the top level as a damage dealer in either speed or pushing groups, while also filling one of the support spots in speed rift runs.

For solo play, they are on-par with Crusaders as the best solo pushers and have an incredible rift-clearing power, despite their somewhat unorthodox style of play.

Builds for Necromancer can be found here.

Witch Doctor

Lore from Battle.net

Quote

Only a select few men and women among the umbaru tribes can ascend to the hallowed role of witch doctor, for they must possess both a history of battle and a talent for communing with spirits. The latter ability belongs solely to those born with the touch of the Unformed Land – the invisible realm where the umbaru believe the spirits of the dead dwell once they have left Sanctuary behind.

When a man dies, witch doctors feel what they suspect is the breath of life leaving his cooling body. And, when calamity or genocide sends hundreds to their graves at once, witch doctors can sense their trembling and shrieking from beyond.

Witch doctors cannot cover their ears to the voices of the spirits. As the sounds of disquiet grow louder, their choice is made. They must restore the balance between their world and the Unformed Land, or watch the torment of generations past for the rest of their lives… and forever after.

Meta Position of Witch Doctor

The Witch Doctor is in an unfortunate position where they are an excellent damage dealer in 4-player groups but they are slightly outpaced by Wizards. You can definitely find a spot in 4-player groups as a damage dealer, but expect yourself to be beaten out occasionally for max-optimised groups.

For solo, the Witch Doctor is on the slightly weaker end of the scale and is currently the lowest on solo pushing, but only by 1-2 levels compared to some other classes.

Builds for Witch Doctor can be found here.

Wizard

Lore from Battle.net

Quote

Magic-users hail from academies throughout Sanctuary – from Xiansai to Caldeum – bearing monikers like "sorcerer" and "mage," but those who would refer to themselves with the derogatory epithet "wizard" are as similar to their fellow spellcasters as a lion is to a kitten. Wizards and sorcerers both wield the hidden mysteries of the arcane; there, the commonalities end.

Wizards are known for a number of qualities: not only rebelliousness and flair, but also disdain for the endless lessons and prattling about caution and safety that echo from academic schools of magic. Wizards’ superior attitudes seem to stem from their natural talent – their ability to wrestle the ambient force of magic into submission and direct it to their ends by will and instinct. Any accidents that might occur due to their lack of finesse are unfortunate…but that rarely stops wizards from indulging in their unstable power.

If they can only master their double-edged gift and avoid destroying themselves, these upstart arcane prodigies may be able to finally reach the destiny that they see on the horizon.

Meta Position of the Wizard

The Wizard is, as mentioned above, one of the chosen damage dealers in the current 4-player meta. 

For solo play, they perform well, but are still situated around the middle of the pack. They do, however, have multiple possibilities for solo rifting at the top level.

Builds for Wizard can be found here.

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