Diablo 4 is a sprawling ARPG with many dungeons and events to collect loot from as you stop Lilith’s demonic shenanigans, but what if you want to speed up the grind and get much better equipment? If so, there’s an early dungeon in Diablo 4 that’s a cut above the rest if you want to level up quickly and farm Legendaries.
Due to the nature of my job, I had to hit level 50 faster than clearing the 20 – 30 hour story would allow. Luckily, I found the perfect spot to do so.
You’ll Have to Complete a Stronghold Quest Before You Can Unlock This Dungeon
To the east of the first main city, Kyovashad, lies a mining town called Malnok. When you first visit, it will be overrun by the Ice Clan—hostile Goatmen that wield spears and ice powers. A Stronghold quest will trigger, requiring you to seek out and slay Stormcallers around the mining town to dispel a blizzard.
The Stormcallers can be found by following the magic threads emanating from a giant Ice Clan Champion in the middle of the area. Once all the Stormcallers are defeated, the Champion will break free and trigger a difficult boss fight. Defeating him will not only unlock one of the best dungeons in the game but also a few helpful vendors.
Northwest of the mining town square you’ll find Anica’s Claim, a cave still overrun with the Ice Clan (do note that there’s another, less efficient dungeon to the northeast called Rimescar Cavern). Anica’s Claim will require you to slay several Elites and collect their Anima to open a door, defeat more monsters, and overcome a boss. You can do all that, but for grinding purposes, we’re only interested in the first part of this cave.
You see, this part of Anica’s Claim is a loop with many guaranteed Elite spawns and tons of Ice Clan mobs to slay. Respec to power up your class’s best crowd-clearing abilities—for the Necromancer, we invested heavily into Corpse Explosion—and run through the dungeon loop. Often, empowering shrines littered throughout will speed this process up, or Cursed Chests and Cursed Shrines will trigger experience dense and loot-heavy challenges.
Once the cave is cleared, fast travel to the dungeon’s exit from the map screen (do not open the door and continue onward. It’s less efficient to complete the quest each time). If your inventory is full, salvage some items at the nearby blacksmith or teleport back to Kyovashad to store any Legendary items you found.
Then, Log Out and Log Back in Outside the Dungeon to Respawn the Entire Cave
However, the queue times to play Diablo 4 might be too lengthy. If that is the case, clearing some mobs in the nearby Rimescar Cavern will allow enough time to pass for the dungeon to reset without needing to log out.
Between levels 20 and 35, each run took me about 6 minutes on the Veteran (World Tier II) difficulty, and netted about 1/3rd of a level up, along with a dozen or so Rare items and a Legendary every third or fourth run.
As Anica’s Claim scales to your level, this dungeon becomes much less effective above level 35, netting somewhere between a quarter of a level to 1/10th as you near 50 with spongy Elites that can waste a minute or two of your time. Experience-boosting elixirs can help with this, though I found that lowering the difficulty to World Tier I sped up the process, decreasing the time taken from about 8 minutes to 5. A mathematically good trade off for 20% less experience if you want to level up. Otherwise, stick with World Tier II for a better chance to get a Legendary.
At all levels, one short run of Anica’s Claim will net you more experience and items than any main story quest. Near level 50, I began to earn a powerful Legendary every second run, and soon had a storage box full of them with powerful Aspects I could then remove and fuse onto items. There’s certain to be more efficient spots to farm for Legendaries later in Diablo 4, but if you want to level up early and quickly, Anica’s Claim in Malnok is the best dungeon to do so.
If you’re looking for more tips on making your way through Blizzard’s latest ARPG, make sure to take a look through our guides.
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