Game Mobalytics

Optimizing Your Defensive Stats in Diablo 4

Offensive and defensive balance is crucial in Diablo 4. While swapping gear when encountering “Green Numbers” might work for a while, it’s essential to learn how to optimize your character early on. This optimization can increase your leveling rate, decrease travel time, and prepare you to make critical gear decisions as you progress into the middle and end game.

Understanding Defensive Stats in Diablo 4

To optimize your defenses, it is important to understand the mechanics behind defensive stats in Diablo 4. Let’s break it down in a simple and approachable way.


In Diablo 4, there are two categories of damage: physical and non-physical. Your armor will contribute to the initial hit’s damage reduction if you take physical damage. For example, with 20% damage reduction from armor, 100 initial physical damage would become 80 damage taken by your character. However, armor is only half as effective against non-physical damage.


When taking non-physical damage, both your resistances and armor will be used to calculate the initial damage you take. Adding half of the value of your resistance and half of the value of your armor together will give you the initial damage reduction. For example, if you have 20% damage reduction from armor and 40% fire resistance, you would end up with 30% damage reduction against fire damage before considering other sources.

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Other Sources of Damage Reduction

Any other source of damage reduction, such as paragon nodes, glyphs, or modifiers on your gear, will scale multiplicatively with each other. These additional sources will have an impact on your overall damage reduction.

Important Defensive Modifiers

To increase your defenses, there are several stats that act as additional sources of damage reduction. While each of these stats applies separately, they come with diminishing returns. Pants and Chest Armor, for example, can roll a wide range of these modifiers, and it’s recommended to roll 3-4 of these modifiers on these slots.

How do these Stats Scale with Each Other?

Understanding how these stats scale together is crucial. Let’s explain how the formula used to calculate damage reduction works.

Initial Damage Reduction

The initial damage taken is reduced by your armor and resistance values, depending on the type of damage you take.

Physical Damage Reduction

Initial Physical Damage Reduction = 1 – ArmorDR

The “ArmorDR” represents the damage reduction rating of your armor, which can be found in your character’s tab.

Non-Physical Damage Reduction

Initial Non-physical Damage Reduction = 1 – (ArmorDR + ResistanceDR ) / 2

Total Damage Reduction

Total Damage Reduction = 1 – ((Initial Damage Reduction) (1 – DR1) (1 – DR2) (1 – DRn))

Here, “DRn” refers to the amount of damage reduction sources you have. If you have 4 damage reduction sources, you will have up to DR4 in the equation.

Damage Reduction Calculation Example

To better understand the formula, let’s create a scenario where your character is taking damage from a non-physical source. Assuming the following values:

  • ArmorDR: 0.5
  • ResistanceDR: 0.3
  • Additional sources of damage reduction (DR1, DR2, DR3, DR4): 0.15, 0.1, 0.17, 0.35
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The calculation would be as follows:

Initial Non-physical Damage Reduction = 1 – (ArmorDR + ResistanceDR ) / 2
Initial Non-physical Damage Reduction = 1 – (0.5 + 0.3) / 2 = 0.6

Total Damage Reduction = 1 – (Initial Damage Reduction (1 – DR1) (1 – DR2) (1 – DR3) (1-DR4))
Total Damage Reduction = 1 – (0.6 (1 – 0.15) (1 – 0.1) (1 – 0.17) (1 – 0.35)) = 0.7523695

This means that you will reduce the incoming damage by roughly 75.2%. To calculate the final damage you will take, multiply this value by the damage of the attack:

500 * 0.752 = 376

Therefore, you would only be taking 124 damage after taking all of your damage reduction into account.

Item Examples

To illustrate the application of these defensive strategies, here are some examples of items that can greatly enhance your defenses.


These pants are an excellent example of the type of items you should look for. With three separate damage reduction modifiers and a maximum roll on Total Armor, they provide a significant increase to your character’s defenses. Ideally, you would want to reroll the % Total Armor to another source of damage reduction.


Here is an example of an amulet that can significantly improve your defenses. This particular amulet has high rolls for Damage Reduction, Armor, and Fury Cost reduction. It provided an incredible amount of survivability, especially for a Strength class character with high armor. It’s essential to make the most of the items you have and read each item carefully to leverage their benefits.

Additional Tips

  • Don’t forget to optimize your defensive abilities, paragon trees, and consider using consumables like elixirs and incense to further strengthen your defenses.
  • While finding gear with all Best in Slot modifiers is incredibly difficult, aim to find items with as many desirable modifiers as possible.
  • Rerolling modifiers at the occultist can help improve your gear’s defensive capabilities.
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To be successful in Diablo 4, understanding how to optimize your character’s defenses is crucial. By grasping the mechanics of damage reduction and utilizing various sources of defense, such as armor, resistances, and specific modifiers, you can enhance your survivability and progress more efficiently in the game. Remember to leverage item modifiers, paragon trees, defensive abilities, and consumables to strengthen your defenses in your quest to conquer Diablo 4.

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