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Diablo 4 Beta: Class Ranking - Which Should You Choose on Launch?

Steven Weber Posted:
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Diablo 4's highly popular Open Beta has given players a chance to explore the game's five classes: Druid, Barbarian, Rogue, Sorcerer, and Necromancer. Each class offers a unique playstyle, complete with powerful abilities that can be customized and synergized to the players desired purpose. After ample time with Diablo IV here's a ranking of each class along with some tips on the abilities and strengths of each class to jumpstart your builds on launch June 6th, 2023.

5. Druid:

Though the Druid ranks lowest on our list, it still offers a unique gameplay experience. Primarily, the Druid's abilities focus on shapeshifting and harnessing the forces of nature. Players must manage their energy to effectively utilize their shapeshifting abilities, such as transforming into a werewolf for quick melee attacks or a werebear for increased durability. Even though the Druid may be one of the most fun classes to play because of how neat shapeshifting can be, the necessity to battle enemies at a close proximity, and the high learning curve to synergize the Druids abilities make it a difficult class to play. Here are some suggestions on abilities for a starter build that should help you through some of the more difficult encounters by staying at range in the early game. 

Key Abilities For Starter Build:

  • Wind Shear: Wind Shear isn’t a powerful ability, but it is a safe ability. With Wind Shear you can build your Spirit quickly, by hitting multiple enemies at one time. This will let you use your more powerful abilities much more often, and you can attack at range, so if you have to kite to stay alive, you definitely can. 
  • Landslide: Landslide is a great ability for a starter build. What makes earth abilities so good is that they immobilize enemies on occasion, and damage to immobilized enemies is very high when you spec for it, so it should be easy to melt through mobs. Landslide can also hit enemies through walls, which is good for bosses that have pillars you can hide behind. 
  • Debilitating Roar: This ability starts as just an enemy debuff, but later you can add the ability to heal, and that makes it one of the better defensive abilities. The heal over time will definitely keep you topped up on health, alongside Debilitating Roars ability to debuff enemies and Fortify you, reducing damage done to you even further.
  • Vine Creeper: If you have to choose only one summon, Vinecreeper should be the one. While the damage isn’t particularly great, the active ability to immobilize a large area and apply poison synergizes really well with Landslide, and together you should make quick work of enemies. 

While the Druid's potential for powerful builds is hindered by the energy management aspect, creative players can still create synergistic builds with a focus on either melee or ranged combat. There is even a build that works around your summoned animals, but unfortunately they do not take aggro the same way the Necromancer minions do. Just remember that the melee builds will do a lot more damage, but your survivability may suffer if you're new to the Diablo series.

4. Barbarian:

The Barbarian is a fun and engaging class, capable of dealing significant damage and mitigating incoming threats. With an emphasis on brute force and survivability, the Barbarian has a variety of abilities designed to help them stay in the thick of battle. There are several builds that will work very well for both burst damage and damage over time, but if you want something that’s easy to play, with a lot of versatility, here is a great starter build to help you level quickly on your new Barbarian.

Key Abilities For Starter Build:

  • Flay: This Fury builder doesn’t initially hit very hard, but the damage over time makes it a great ability to apply to large groups of enemies while you’re running through them. It will also apply vulnerability which synergizes well with a lot of other abilities. 
  • Rend: Rend is a high damage bleed that can also build fury if spec'd with the right modifiers. This will be one of your major damage dealers.
  • Iron Skin: Iron Skin starts as a barrier, but later you can modify it to heal you over time. This ability will keep you topped up on health so you can save your potions for when you really need them. 
  • War Cry: Every Barbarian needs a good shout, and War Cry is one of the best. Initially it will just boost you and your allies' damage, but after selecting modifiers, you will be granted berserk, and fortify, which will increase your damage even more, while mitigating the damage done to you. There are also Shout modifiers in the skill tree that will grant your shouts the ability to heal as well. 

The main drawback for Barbarians is the need to build fury, which powers their abilities. With the right combination of perks and abilities, however, players can overcome this limitation and wreak havoc on their enemies. The Barbarian has several builds that will work pretty well, but all of them require some level of skill and awareness to be successful, which is why the Barbarian comes in fourth on our list. 

3. Rogue:

The Rogue class is versatile and deadly, offering some of the best synergies among the available classes. Focusing on stealth, traps, and high single-target damage, the Rogue can adapt to various playstyles and situations. The Rogue could easily be on the top tier, if only it had more options to heal without the use of a potion or being forced to attack enemies at close range. Still, there are plenty of builds that are available for the Rogue that are viable, including builds based around the modest healing the Rogue does have. The abilities listed here are great for extremely high single target damage, along with great crowd control and survivability. 

Key Abilities For Starter Build:

  • Puncture: This energy builder can cause vulnerability to enemies, and spread out in a cone in front of you, making it ideal for targeting close range groups. It will also slow enemies on every third cast, which makes it a great last resort if you need to run away. 
  • Rapid Fire: This ability will rapidly fire arrows in a straight line. With the right modifiers, this ability will almost always be a critical hit, which makes it great for taking down big enemies, but it will also work well against groups. 
  • Concealment: Concealment is more than just a get out of jail free card. This ability makes you unstoppable for a time, so you can get out of crowd control effects, but when modified properly, it is one of the better healing abilities, and sets you up for a guaranteed critical hit. 
  • Poison Trap: When it comes to kiting and versatility, Poison Trap is a fantastic ability. On the surface the trap provides a modest damage over time, but with the right modifiers, Poison Trap will knock down enemies, and do more damage.  For really tough fights you can drop up to 4 Poison Traps at a time, though you'll have to deal with a cooldown timer unless you have gear to mitigate the cooldown time. 

Though the Rogue lacks a robust selection of strong defensive abilities that can heal and mitigate damage like the Barbarian or Sorcerer, their high damage output, crowd control options, and quick kills often compensate for this weakness. Their damage potential and versatility is why the Rogue is third on our ranking list. 

2. Sorcerer:

The Sorcerer is a versatile and powerful class, boasting a wide range of abilities that allow them to deal massive damage while staying mobile and protected. With a focus on elemental magic, Sorcerers have access to a diverse toolkit of offensive and defensive spells. There are very few abilities that won’t work on the Sorcerer, making it an all around great class to play as. You really can’t go wrong with any of the ability picks, but here is a build that makes everything just a little easier. 

Key Abilities For Starter Build:

  • Spark: Spark is a great energy building ability that can be modified to jump to multiple enemies. The best part about Spark is, if there are no other enemies to jump to, it increases the damage, and you can also modify it with crackling energy, which will damage multiple enemies when picked up. 
  • Fireball: Every Sorcerer needs a good Fireball ability. This hard hitting AOE will help make quick work of enemies that are stupid enough to get in your way. It’s also perfect for kiting, as the further away you are, the larger the AOE will be. It also synergizes very well with Fire Hydra. One of the best abilities the Sorcerer has available.
  • Flame Shield: Simply put, this shield is great for sustaining your Sorcerer through thick and thin. When modified, this shield will heal you for half of the life you’ve lost, burn enemies around you, and increase your movement speed substantially, making it great for speed runs. 
  • Fire Hydra: If you’ve looked up anything about the Sorcerer, it’s probably been builds about the Fire Hydra. This ability lets you summon a multi-headed beast that spews flames at your enemies.While at the early levels you’ll only have one available, it’s more than enough to get you through most of the content, as the Hydra puts out intense fire damage, and synergizes with your Fireball, so you’re doing a lot of damage without having to work very hard for it. 

The Sorcerer's quick energy replenishment means they can continually cast powerful spells, making them one of the best classes for sustained damage output and survivability. Unfortunately the Sorcerer is ranked number two, because despite Fire Hydra’s best efforts, you’ll still be forced to summon him and pay attention to your surroundings.

1. Necromancer:

The Necromancer is the undisputed king of the Diablo 4 Beta classes. With powerful summoning abilities, AOE damage, and crowd control options, the Necromancer can dominate the battlefield with ease. If you’re looking for an easy class to play, this is the easiest out of all of them. That doesn’t mean that you won’t run into a hardship or two, but in most cases, your minions are more than enough to tackle hordes of enemies, while you zip around the dungeon in circles. 

Key Abilities For Starter Build:

  • Summon Skeletons: This is the first ability you’ll get in Sanctuary as a Necromancer, and it’s probably the only ability you’ll need. In order to summon a skeleton, you’ll need to kill something first, but after a few levels, even that will seem trivial.
  • Hemorrhage: This ability is your energy builder, but it's closer to a lifeline. Hemorrhage will generate Blood Orbs that heal you, and even fortify your health, making it an all around powerful sustain ability, considering it’s the first direct damage ability you can get.
  • Blight: Blight is a great AOE damage over time ability. You’ll be able to slow monsters affected by Blight, but your minion will also deal more damage to those stuck in its AOE bubble.
  • Corpse Explosion: Even without the minions, Corpse Explosion is formidable. With this ability you can detonate nearby corpses, dealing massive AOE damage.It gets even better when you change your minions using the Book of the Dead, a special trait only for Necromancers, where you can turn your skeletons into Reapers, which carve corpses off of living enemies. That means you can use corpse explosion even if there are no dead enemies around!

The Necromancer's summons not only grow in number and strength as you level up but also make early game encounters a breeze. Blizzard may have their hands full with figuring out how to balance this class by launch, but it's no wonder why this class is the favorite among Beta players.

Diablo 4's Open Beta has provided a fantastic glimpse into the upcoming game, and these five classes offer a diverse and engaging gameplay experience. The Druid and Barbarian may need some tweaking to catch up to their counterparts, but the Rogue, Sorcerer, and Necromancer stand out as powerful classes that anyone can pick up and play without hesitation. As we eagerly await the full release of Diablo 4, it's never too early to start planning your perfect character build and delve deep into the abilities each class has to offer. Did you try all of the classes during the Beta? Have some thoughts on different builds? Drop into our comments section and let us know your thoughts. 


Steven Weber

Steven has been a writer at MMORPG.COM since 2017. A lover of many different genres, he finds he spends most of his game time in action RPGs, and talking about himself in 3rd person on his biography page.