Leveling with Druid has never been better. In Diablo 4 Season 3, we managed to combine poison with lightning to create one of the best hybrid builds that lets you level with ease. This build has insane AOE damage, raining lightning from the sky continuously, all the while spreading poison, which infects the entire screen.
Unlike other early-level Druid builds, this one has absolutely no issue with Spirit, as we have 2 skills that instantly give us large chunks of spirit, again and again. There are absolutely no items or RNG aspects that are required for the build. Everything is obtained from the Codex or very early in the seasonal quest line.
How It Works
If you have zero or low amounts of spirit, the first 2 skills you want to use are Blood Howl and Trample. Blood Howl provides you with 20% Health instantly, and then, thanks to Innate Blood Howl, you also gain a chunk of spirit. Trample is a great movement tool and good for burst damage, but thanks to Savage Trample, it now also provides a large amount of spirit on the cast.
The first attack you want to use in a pack of enemies is Rabies, which spreads poisoning damage to them. This season, we also have the Virulent Aspect, which is unlocked from the very first chapter of the season and will cause your Rabies cooldown to significantly lessen, which means you can use Rabies more often, and that is absolutely huge for that damage boost.
With Envenom, you’ll deal much larger crits against enemies that are poisoned, and thanks to Neurotoxin, any poisoned enemies are slow, which is important because Nature’s Reach, another passive, causes you to deal double the damage bonus against slowed enemies.
Poison Creeper is another ability you want to pop early on, as it immobilizes enemies, meaning Nature’s Reach is active, and thanks to Brutal Poison Creeper, your Critical Strike Chance goes up by a whopping 20%. Now, you can use your Lightning Storm ability, which can cause massive crits.
With the combination of abilities and passive stacking, clearing out large enemy packs will be a breeze. Thanks to Enhanced Blood Howl, once you start killing enormous packs of enemies, Blood Howl’s cooldown will be significantly reduced, and then you should use Blood Howl to constantly get your spirit and health back whenever it’s off cooldown.
If Trample and Blood Howl are on cooldown and you need Spirit, then we can use our Wind Shear basic attack, which is the best basic attack for Druid because it causes enemies to become vulnerable and increases your movement speed, which makes Druid much more efficient at speed leveling.
To summarize, use your spirit generators, then pop Rabies and Poison Creeper whenever off cooldown, then spam Lightning Storm. Then, pop your spirit generators again whenever they’re off cooldown. And if they’re on cooldown, you need to chuck in a few Wind Shears for that spirit.
The same rotation applies to bosses. This build may not have the best single-target boss damage, but because of the constant healing, you’re not going to struggle at all. It’ll just take slightly longer than some of the other classes out there.
So, let’s go over the skill tree in more detail. The priority when you’re leveling is to unlock a new skill on the toolbar rather than upgrading an already existing ability, and some of the earlier passive packs we actually get later on as we’re leveling. So, put one point into Wind Shear, which is our main spirit generator, and then one point into Enhanced Wind Shear and Fierce Wind Shear.
1 point into Lightning Storm, 1 point into Enhanced Lightning Storm, and then 1 point into Primal Lightning Storm, so we can immobilize enemies and take advantage of the several damage boosts. This build provides. You’ll want to max out Lightning Storm to 5 out of 5 ranks pretty quickly, as it’s your main DPS option. Along with unlocking new skills, side by side, unlock Blood Howl, along with Enhanced and Innate Blood Howl as soon as possible, so you can get healing and spirit more efficiently.
Then go for Poison Creeper, alongside Enhanced and Brutal Poison Creeper. Once Lightning Storm is 5 out of 5, put 1 point into Rabies, then go and put 1 point into Trample, which will help with mobility and burst damage. 1 point into Enhanced Trample and Savage Trample so you can then have another ability which generates spirits.
Then go back and get Enhanced and Natural Rabies, which will make the skill much more efficient. Eventually, you’ll want to get Rabies to 5 out of 5. Now, the rest of the skill tree focuses on passives. Put 1 point into Neurotoxin, so you can put 3 points into Envenom, 3 points into Nature’s Reach for more damage against crowd-controlled enemies, 3 points into Defiance for more damage against elites, 3 points into Circle of Life for constant healing whenever you cast Lightning Storm or Wind Shear.
Thanks to Circle of Life, whenever we cast Lightning Storm, we gain back even more healing. So just combined with Blood Howl, you’ll never need to pop a potion. All this healing is great because it means we can use our key passive, Ursine Strength, and deal 25% increased damage whenever we have more than 80% Health, which seems to be nearly all the time, thanks to the constant healing.
Put 3 points into Natural Disaster, one point into Heart of the Wild, so you can put 3 points into Wild Impulses, and 3 points into Abundance. 3 points into Predatory Instinct for more Critical Strike chance, and finally, 1 point into Elemental Exposure and 1 point into Charged Atmosphere, so you can put 3 points into Electric Shock, which can further increase damage against immobilized enemies.
Let’s go over the aspects I recommend while leveling. Every single aspect comes from the codex or seasonal quest line early on, so you aren’t at the mercy of RNG. For offensive aspects, Edgemaster's Aspect is good at increasing damage based on how much spirit you have when you cast Lightning Storm. Aspect of Inner Calm boosts damage for each second you standstill, which is because you’re channeling Lightning Storm and getting constant healing, is very much possible.
Shepherd’s Aspect increases your damage by 6% for each companion. Poison Creeper is a companion, so that does count for that little boost. Nighthowler's Aspect boosts Critical Strike chance whenever you use Blood Howl. For Utility or resource aspects, the Virulent Aspect, as I mentioned before, is very good as it reduces Rabies cooldown as it spreads.
And then, Aspect of the Umbal is another one I’d recommend to maybe put on one of your rings, as it will boost spirit generation quite a bit, as we constantly slow or immobilize enemies with this build, which all counts as crowd control. There are no defensive aspects that are a requirement, but Aspect of Disobedience to boost armor and Aspect of Might for easy damage reduction are beneficial aspects. But trust me, you won’t need these because of the constant healing the build provides.
There’s not much to say for gear. You’re going to be constantly out leveling gear, so keep on replacing it. This especially applies to your weapon, which you want the highest GPS weapon for.
If you’re playing on the seasonal realm, you’ll have the Seneshcal Construct. There are obviously some very strong legendary and unique stones, but these are dropped much later on in the game, so you won’t encounter a lot of them early on while leveling.
Early on, for leveling, I found the Utility Aspects more useful. Reconstruct helps even more with healing and survivability, while Protect gives you a barrier on top to help with survivability. If you don’t have these, then an attacking skill with Poison support can help to poison more enemies and apply slow to them through Neurotoxin. You’ll deal more damage efficiently. Support boosts Critical Strike Chance even more, and Slowing support adds even more slow to the mix.
If you do have Arcing support alongside an attack, you can use Resource support. You can gain back massive amounts of spirit. Unfortunately, I don’t have this combo unlocked, but if you do, by chance, get these stones, do use them, as that will help your spirit generation a lot. Have a play around with the combinations. There are some useful ones, but don’t get caught up too much on this while leveling. Most of the power from this comes from the endgame.
So there you have it, my Poison Lightning Hybrid build for Level 1 to 50. It’s faster, stronger, and just better than all previous Druid leveling builds, and you’ll be level 50 in no time.
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