Are you ready to embark on an epic journey as a Druid in Diablo 4? In this guide, we will walk you through the best leveling build for the Companion Druid, focusing on the Storm Strike skill and powerful Companions. With our build, you will have the damage and defensiveness to conquer the campaign and reach World Tier 3. So let’s dive in and start our adventure!
General Leveling Tips
Before we delve into the specifics of our leveling build, let’s go over some general tips to make your Druid leveling experience smoother. If you want more comprehensive information about leveling as a Druid, check out our main Druid Leveling guide. Additionally, our Druid Builds page offers a wide selection of leveling and endgame builds for you to choose from.
If you’re playing on the seasonal realm, don’t forget to refer to our season checklist. It provides useful tips and tricks specifically tailored for Season 1 of Diablo 4. Make the most out of your leveling journey with these valuable insights!
Season of the Malignant
In Season 1, there have been some changes specific to the Companion Druid build. Let’s take a look at the Season 1 Patch Notes and see what’s in store for us:
Patch 1.1: Storm Strike Damage Reduction has been reduced from 25% to 15%. Additionally, multiple sources of Critical Strike Damage and Vulnerable Damage have been globally reduced for all classes.
Patch 1.1.1: Some skills have received buffs, such as Spirit gain for Storm Strike and increased damage for Wolves, Ravens, Enhanced Wolf Pack, Brutal Wolf Pack, and Brutal Ravens.
It’s essential to stay up-to-date with these changes to optimize your gameplay. Be sure to check the Changelog for all the other guide updates related to the Companion Druid leveling build.
In Season 1, the Malignant Heart becomes a key item for our build. Here are the best-in-slot Malignant Hearts for this season:
Caged Heart of the Moonrage (Vicious, Offensive): This heart has a 5% chance to summon a Wolf Companion for 20-30 seconds whenever you kill an enemy. It also grants +3 to Wolves.
Caged Heart of Revenge (Brutal, Defensive): With this heart, 10-20% of incoming damage is suppressed. When you use a Defensive, Subterfuge, or a Macabre skill, all suppressed damage is amplified by 250% and explodes, dealing up to 1360-2040 Fire damage to nearby enemies.
Caged Heart of The Barber (Wrathful, Super): Critical Strikes and subsequent damage within 2.0-4.0 seconds are absorbed by your target. The absorbed damage then erupts onto surrounding enemies. The stored damage increases by 10% per second.
While other Malignant hearts may provide some benefits, these three will give you the greatest increase in power. Additionally, Malignant Hearts grant a bonus to your armor based on their item power level.
For more information on Malignant hearts, refer to our dedicated guide. You can also check out our Season 1 guide for additional details.
Our Storm Strike and Companions leveling build aims to provide you with the necessary damage and defensiveness to conquer the campaign and transition smoothly into our endgame builds. With our build, we have two powerful Druid Companions active, contributing significant passive minion damage. This allows us to include two defensive skills in our arsenal. Moreover, we provide flexibility in choosing a Spirit spender based on the legendary items you acquire while leveling.
Skill Tree Points and Skill Bar
To start off, we will follow a specific skill progression until we have enough points to respec and distribute at least 1 point into each of the minion skills. This usually happens around Level 15. Here is the recommended skill progression:
Skill Tree Points:
- Order – Skill – Cluster
- Renown Talents (if available)
Once you reach Level 15, prioritize completing the Druid Class quest to unlock Spirit Bonding. Make sure to pick up the first bond as outlined below. Once you’ve completed this quest, you can respec and transition into our main build. Here is the skill bar for our main build:
Main Build Skill Bar:
Choose a core skill based on the legendary items you find while leveling. For example, if you come across a Legendary like Stormchaser’s Aspect, opt for Tornado instead of the default choice, Landslide. This adjustment will yield a higher power gain.
Throughout the leveling process, you’ll have several options to enhance your build based on your needs, such as single target damage, AoE clearing, or defensives. Here are some additional points you can allocate at any time during the next levels:
Additional Skill Points:
Lastly, allocate the final point on Storm Strike and pick up utility talents. Keep in mind that talents number 49-58 will be obtained as renown rewards in each of the five zones.
Mechanics and Playstyle
Our leveling build offers an enjoyable and straightforward playstyle. We utilize Poison Creeper to clear packs of mobs with its incredible AoE damage. On the other hand, our Wolves serve as our primary single-target ability. Storm Strike acts as our basic skill, allowing us to apply Vulnerable to up to three enemies at a time while also providing damage reduction.
To add a bit of extra damage for both single target and AoE, we incorporate our chosen Core Skill as a spirit dump. It will greatly assist you until you acquire the necessary gear and affixes to fully maximize the power of your Companions in the endgame.
Additionally, we include Cyclone Armor for defensiveness and a knockback effect. If your Poison Creeper fails to eliminate a pack of mobs completely, activating Cyclone Armor will swiftly finish them off. Blood Howl serves as a self-heal and damage increase. Predatory Instinct increases our critical strike chance, while Packleader Spirit Bond and Call of the Wild enhance the damage of our Companions. Heightened Senses, Vigilance, and Ancestral Fortitude further boost our survivability by increasing damage reduction and resistances.
Unlocking and managing Spirit Boons is crucial in our leveling build. Here is the recommended order to unlock your Spirit Boons:
Offer enough Druidic Spirit Offerings to unlock the first four listed Boons. Then, fully unlock the rest to activate the final Boon with Spirit Bonding.
Gear Choice and Stat Priority while Leveling
During the leveling process, make sure to pick up any Rare equipment drops that may improve your gear. Save Legendary items with useful aspects in your stash, as you can later extract and imprint them onto well-rolled Rare items.
When considering weapons, keep in mind that a higher-level one-handed weapon combined with an off-hand may prove more potent than the two-handed weapon you’re currently using.
For leveling a Storm Strike and Companions Druid, prioritize the following stat affixes on gear, ranked by their importance:
Affixes on the same level of importance are roughly equal. This prioritization will help you optimize your stats while progressing through the levels.
Legendary Item Aspects
To unlock Aspects in the Codex of Power, you must complete the corresponding Dungeon where the specific Aspect drops. Once obtained, visit the Occultist to imprint the Aspect onto an item. Keep in mind that Aspects found on dropped Legendary Items have stronger effects than those obtained through the Codex of Power. Additionally, some Aspects can only be obtained by finding them on a legendary item and are not accessible through the Codex of Power. Extract Aspects from unusable Legendary Items and imprint them onto well-rolled Rare Items. However, avoid imprinting extracted Aspects onto weapons since weapons are frequently replaced while leveling.
For a more detailed understanding of Aspects and Codex of Power, refer to our dedicated guide. Here are the Aspects that are important for the Companion Druid leveling build, listed in order of priority:
Gem sockets play a vital role in enhancing your gear. Here are the best Gems to socket into each slot type:
- Weapon: Topaz for Basic Attack Damage.
- Armor: Ruby for Maximum Life.
- Jewelry: Use the recommended Malignant Hearts mentioned at the beginning of this guide for their special effects and armor bonus.
Elixirs and Health Potions
Make sure to visit the Alchemist and craft helpful Elixirs that increase stats and experience gain for 30 minutes. Gather necessary crafting materials as you explore, as they randomly spawn throughout the world. Choose an Elixir that provides the Resistance or stat boost you need the most, such as Iron Barb Elixir for Armor or Assault Elixir for Attack Speed.
If you encounter difficulties in a dungeon against a particular mob, you will eventually unlock elixirs that provide a 20% damage increase against specific mob types.
Remember to return to the Alchemist at specific levels (10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 70, 80, and 90) to upgrade your Health Potions.
Stay up to date with the latest changes in our leveling build. Here is the Changelog:
- August 7th, 2023: Updated for patch 1.1.1.
- July 23rd, 2023: Updated Gems section to reflect the presence of Malignant Hearts.
- July 18th, 2023: Updated for Season 1 and added Skill Bar.
Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of our Companion Druid leveling build, it’s time to embark on your adventure in Diablo 4. Enjoy the thrilling gameplay and unleash the power of your Companions as you progress through the world of Sanctuary!