As you may know, Druids have been one of Diablo 4‘s best endgame classes since the game launched. What you may not know is that Diablo 4‘s Season 1 update actually made leveling a Druid significantly less annoying than it used to be.
Before we take a look at the leveling build that actually makes Druids fun before Level 50, please keep in mind that this is a pure leveling build. In other words, it’s designed to get you to World Tier 3. While you can probably use a variation of this build beyond that point, you’ll want to start taking advantage of the increasingly powerful Legendary Aspects, Gear, and Paragon Points you’ll slowly gain access to in higher World Tiers. Even then, there are better options.
Diablo 4 Season 1: Best Druid Leveling Build – Furious Subterranean Aspect
Skills: Storm Strike, Landslide, Earthern Bulwark, Poison Creeper, Wolves, Hurricane
Malignant Hearts: The Moonrage, The Agitated Winds, Malignant Pact
Key Legendary Aspects: Subterranean Aspect, Shepherd’s Aspect, Ballistic Aspect, Aspect of Mending Stone
Full Skill Tree
If you’re somewhat familiar with the Druid class in Diablo 4, you may look at this build and ask “Where’s Pulverize?” While it’s true that Pulverize is one of the Druid’s best overall abilities, I’m not a big fan of it when it comes to leveling.
Pulverize is expensive and requires quite a bit of gear/Legendary Aspect support. Though fairly strong in its base form, the things that make Pulverize so special don’t become available to you until a little later in the game. By level 50 or so, you may be able to swap to a Pulverize build. Until then, you’ll want something that’s a little more reliable, a little quicker, and, let’s face it, a little more fun.
This build is designed to offer all of those things. To understand why it works, though, we first have to talk about Subterranean Aspect.
Subterranean Aspect is the new Legendary Aspect for Druids in Season 1. It not only automatically casts Landslide in a circle around you when you use Poison Creeper’s ability, but it increases the damage that Earth skills do to Poisoned enemies. In other words, it helps you instantly poison enemies, trap them, and then damage them with a suddenly buffed Earth ability. Mind you, Druids already have a Passive ability that grants them 30% increased Critical Strike damage against Poisoned enemies.
You can unlock that Aspect early into the new season, and you should do so as soon as possible. By leveling Druid standards, it’s pretty much broken. It immobilizes enemies, deals immediate damage to them, and forces them to suffer through a powerful lasting debuff. It’s absurdly good.
While Poison Creeper is an essential part of this build’s strategy, it’s actually Landslide that makes this build truly special. Landslide is a somewhat strange Core ability in the grand scheme of the game. While you can use it against multiple, bunched-up targets, it’s actually one of Druid’s best single-target damage abilities.
By leveling Landslide to its max rank, you not only benefit from its pure power and secondary effects whenever you directly cast it but whenever you cast Poison Creeper while Subterranean Aspect is equipped. Those Poison Creeper casts will make short work of larger packs of mobs, and Landslide on its own will help you melt through those single targets Druids can otherwise struggle with. Again, the synergy between those abilities is pretty absurd by early-game standards.
The rest of this build is open to some debate. Personally, I think Earthern Bulwark and Wolves are hard to replace while leveling. Earthern Bulwark is your best pure defensive ability, and those Wolves open up some additional companion synergies while doubling as soft tanks. They’re not as important as Poison Creeper and Landslide, but both feel close to essential.
Before we talk about the other skills, we should talk about Nature’s Fury. While I think the fairly recent buff to Nature’s Fury makes it much more viable while leveling than it ever was before, I could see the argument for just enjoying the consistency and synergy of Earthen Might instead. If you do roll with Earthern Might, consider replacing Storm Strike with Earth Spike and Hurricane with Boulder (or even Ravens).
For this build, though, we’re trying to maximize our Nature’s Fury uptime by picking alternating skills. Storm Strike is just a fantastic Basic skill, while Hurricane works surprisingly well with everything else we’re trying to do. If you need to, consider replacing Hurricane with Cataclysm until you get the Nature’s Fury Key Passive. Ravens is another viable option in that final spot until then.
Moonrage is a must-have Malignant Heart if you’re running Wolves, and The Agitated Winds is just an incredibly useful Malignant Heart that offers additional Nature’s Fury proc chances. Malignant Pact is generally hard to replace while leveling, though you can replace it with whatever you’d like if you haven’t been lucky enough to find it.
Finally, this build is designed to maximize your Fortify uptime. If you find that you’re consistently able to keep your Fortify meter topped off, you can replace at least one Fortify-generating passive with something that deals more damage.