The Druid class in Diablo 4 is built like a mountain and has the abilities to match. They’re an incredibly tanky and versatile class, and while a bit slower at leveling than other classes, they actually have some of the highest endgame potential out of any class—so it’s definitely worth sticking it out. This guide will outline the best Druid build to use for leveling for getting you through the Diablo 4 campaign up to the level cap and will cover Aspects, gear, gems, skills, Spirit Boons, and the new Season One mechanic: Caged Hearts.
Best Druid Leveling Build for Diablo 4 Season One
There are a few core things to be mindful of when leveling in Diablo 4 for the best experience, and I’ll be covering each of these in this Druid leveling build.
We have a full explanation of Aspects in Diablo 4. However, Aspects are basically powerful enchantments you can obtain from dungeons and apply to your gear, and there are a few specific ones that you’ll want to pick up for a strong Druid leveling build along the way:
Shockwave Aspect for your Amulet
Ursine Horror Aspect for one Ring
Changeling’s Debt Aspect for the other Ring
Quicksand Aspect for the Helm
Mending Stone Aspect for Chest Armor
Retaliation Aspect for Gloves
Might Aspect for Pants
Ballistic Aspect for Boots
Don’t worry about an Aspect for your weapon while leveling; you’ll just want to use whichever weapon has higher DPS as you get them. These aren’t critical for the build, but as you complete more dungeons, you’ll naturally accumulate some of these anyway. Keep an eye out as they all provide excellent stats and benefits.
Gearing when you level is quite simple. You’ll generally level too quickly to worry about particular pieces of gear, so just know that for this build, using a two-handed weapon is better than a single-handed weapon and shield. And for the rest of the gear, you can simply equip whichever the game indicates is a stat upgrade for you, indicated by a green ^ symbol on the gear piece as you obtain them.
Don’t forget to salvage unwanted gear. You’ll want to accumulate the materials from doing so whenever you have a full inventory of gear you don’t need so that you can be ready to craft much better gear once you hit the level cap. If you’re not sure how to salvage, we have a guide for salvaging in Diablo 4 as well.
Gems & Caged Hearts
Gems are easy for Druids—as soon as you start finding them and have sockets to make use of, place your highest-tier Ruby in your Weapon socket for Overpower damage, Rubies in your Armor sockets for % increased maximum life, and Skulls in your Jewelry sockets for flat armor.
Diablo 4’s first season comes with a new mechanic based around Malignant monsters that drop a type of equippable gem called Caged Hearts. These can only be placed into Jewelry Infested sockets and can be incredibly powerful additions to a build. For this leveling build, the best Caged Hearts to use are: Caged Heart of Creeping Death, Caged Heart of the Malignant Pact, and Caged Heart of the Picana. These are all direct upgrades to damage output, and you should use them as soon as you find them for a very sweet damage boost.
For basic attack use Storm Strike, which is a great AOE attack that will generate Spirit to use with your other skills. For your main skill use Pulverize, which is a heavy-hitting attack featuring the Druid’s Werebear form that will help you easily take on both hordes of enemies and tough single enemies and bosses. Earthen Bulwark will be the defensive skill of choice, as it is essentially a big shield and has a relatively short cooldown, which will help make you very tanky. Debilitating Roar is an excellent way to add some self-healing into the build, as well as further reducing damage and giving us even better survivability. We take Poison Creeper to apply poison to enemies, adding damage over time to the kit and then enhance this with the Caged Heart of Creeping Death. Lastly, we take Trample to both gain unstoppable stacks (which helps us avoid stuns) and for the extra spirit generation it offers to feed our Pulverizes.
You can find my full skill tree to follow for this best Diablo 4 Druid build—simply click on the Skill Tree tab to view it.
Spirit Boons are unique to the Druid class and provide a range of useful effects. For this Druid leveling build in Diablo 4 you’ll want to take the Deer Spirit Boon’s Wariness, the Eagle Spirit Boon’s Swooping Attacks and Scythe Talons, the Wolf Spirit Boon’s Packleader, and the Snake Spirit Boon’s Obsidian Slam.
That’s the best Druid build to use while leveling in Diablo 4—for all you Druid players who want to be as tanky as a mountain and hit like one too, then give this build a try! For more, check out our guide for the best Necromancer build and best Rogue build.
Related: All Known Helltide Mystery Chest Locations in Diablo 4 on Destructoid