Say what you will about glass cannon classes, but the best Diablo 4 rogue build can help you actually survive at close range while dealing all the intense damage that scoundrels with daggers are known for. Twisting Blades is the highly powerful damage skill that you’ll be buffing up with Shadow Imbuement for infection damage and the Bladedancer’s Aspect to turn it into an area-of-effect skill. Who says a knife’s only good at close range?

The Diablo 4 beta in May has a level cap at 25 so you’ll just barely be able to unlock the Shadow Clone ultimate skill if you make a beeline for it. During the server slam weekend you should probably invest points in the early passives and skill upgrades mentioned below instead to assist with survivability. You’ll be able to really dig into this build at launch.

Twisting Blades Rogue build guide

  • Skills: Blade Shift, Twisting Blades, Shadow Step, Shadow Imbuement, Dash, Shadow Clone
  • Specialization: Combo Points
  • Legendary Aspects: Bladedancer’s Aspect, Aspect of Surprise, Aspect of Unstable Imbuements

There are a few variations on this build going around the Diablo 4 community, but the four core skills are Twisting Blades, Shadow Step, Shadow Imbuement, and Dash. You can take either Blade Shift (melee) or Puncture (ranged) at the first node—I’d recommend the former but Puncture can upgrade into making enemies Vulnerable instead or if you just want the Slow debuff every third cast. Some versions suggest Concealment at node four but I’d hold out for Shadow Clone at node six. 

The current Twisting Blades Rogue build on has a good map that includes passive skill picks and skill upgrades. Don’t miss Advanced Twisting Blades for huge cooldown reduction. Here are some high value passives to snag early:

  • Sturdy: close damage reduction to help with survivability
  • Siphoning Strikes: heal from critical strikes on close enemies
  • Precision Imbuement: increased crit rate for imbued skills

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Every version of this build calls for the Bladedancer’s Aspect as the most important legendary aspect, which causes your Twisting Blades skill to orbit around you when they return, dealing additional short-range damage. I really enjoy the Aspect of Surprise as well, which drops a group of Stun Grenades behind you every time you use Shadow Step or your normal evade ability. I got attached to that effect real fast. If you choose the Puncture skill, you can pair it with the Ravenous Aspect as well. Aspect of Unstable Imbuements is a good pair for the Shadow Imbuement skill.

The playstyle for this build is very fast-paced and super mobile, so expect to be bouncing around targets and firing off skills in very quick succession. Use Shadow Step as a gap closer on any primary enemies in the group, pop your Shadow Imbuement, and then set to work casting Twisting Blades. Use Dash or your normal evade ability to create distance for your Twisting Blades to return to you.

If you happen to have the Aspect of Surprise mentioned above, those Stun Grenades you leave behind will cover your retreat. Once you’ve got the Shadow Clone ultimate unlocked, it will mimic your attacks and deal additional damage of its own.

You can adjust this build for single targets like dungeon bosses or world bosses by using the Inner Sight specialization instead of Combo Points. With Inner Sight, attacking marked enemies fills your gauge which, when full, gives unlimited energy for four seconds. Along with the cooldown reduction you’ll get from Advanced Twisting Blades, you’ll stay mobile and fire off serious burst damage with the same Shadow Step > Shadow Imbuement > Twisting Blades > Dash rotation.

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