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Lightning Storm Druid Leveling Guide

Last Updated: May 13th 2024

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Season 4 - LootB-Tier

Welcome to the Lightning Storm Druid Leveling Guide. If you want to zap enemies with Lightning and clear out groups of foes easily, this guide is for you. Get ready to become a Lightning-wielding powerhouse as we show you how to level up as a Lightning Storm Druid!

Lightning Storm is your main damage ability. It is a Channeled Skill that casts an increasing number of strikes the longer you channel it, up to a maximum. It excels at clearing packs of monsters, while its weakness lies in its single target damage. Because of the random nature of those strikes, you mainly rely on RNG for multiple strikes to hit the same target. All three Companion Skills help increase Lightning Storm's damage tremendously thanks to Shepherd's Aspect. They also provide a significant burst of damage on Cooldown, which can be reset via Packleader. Wind Shear is your Spirit Generator, also providing a hefty amount of Movement Speed!

This guide teaches you all about how to reach the endgame in Diablo 4 with the Lightning Storm Druid. Let's get started!

Lightning Storm Druid Leveling Gear

This build guide takes you through the Campaign and Early Game up to Level 50. Check out Endgame Guides in our Druid Guides section.

Pros
  • Fast Start
  • Amazing AoE
  • Good Spirit Management
  • Multiple Sources of Damage
Cons
  • Low Fortify Generation
  • Falls Off Without Aspects
  • Only One Source Of Unstoppable
  • Inconsistent Single Target Damage

Season 4 - Loot Reborn

In Season 4, the Season Theme revolves around helping out the Iron Wolves. Compared to past themes, this one does not offer any borrowed power as the entire game has been redesigned with new itemization and crafting options, increasing player power substantially across the board. Instead, you can gather reputation similar to the Vampire Bounty Board from Season 2 to unlock rewards that supercharge your leveling journey to 100 with extra items, crafting materials and eventually even a Resplendent Spark to craft an Uber Unique.

We recommend to follow the seasonal questline until you unlock the reputation system, check which rewards suit you most and then follow your regular leveling path. To learn more, check out our full Season 4 guide for more information.

Skill Showcase

Wind Shear serves as your Spirit Generator. It applies the Vulnerable debuff, provides Movement Speed, and can reset the cooldowns of your Companion Skills using Packleader. The more enemies you hit, the more Spirit you generate.
Lightning Storm Druid Skill Showcase

Skill Tree & Gameplay

Generator

To kick things off, allocate 2 points to Basic Skills in order to unlock the Core Skill section. Your preference is Wind Shear due to its Movement Speed bonus.

Lightning Storm

Channel Lightning Storm as your main damage dealer. Maintain its size by channeling to max stacks and then attacking at least every 6 seconds! By tapping your hotkey instead of holding it, you can bypass the channeling speed and attack even faster!

Companions

Max out your Lightning Storm and put a single point in Heart of the Wild to set yourself up for future Passives and unlock the Companion wheel. Companions boost Lightning Storm's damage significantly thanks to Shepherd's. Use their active components for a burst of damage against Elites and Bosses.

Trample

Trample is your primary mobility Skill on the Druid. It also adds a solid amount of damage and Spirit Generation thanks to Enhanced Trample and Savage Trample respectively. Use it as another burst of damage!

Lightning Storm Druid Leveling Skill Tree Progression

At this point, we'll pick up max ranks of Clarity, a vitally important passive for this build both during leveling and late game. If you use your Companions to fully stack this buff (as you might at the start of a boss fight), your next channel of Lightning Storm will benefit from the increased damage and Critical Strike Chance until you release it! We'll also go for Ferocious Poison Creeper to more than double it's AoE damage.

Key Passive

Max out Nature's Reach for a nice damage boost against Distant enemies. Grab Abundance for more Spirit generation and its neighbor Wild Impulses to put that Spirit to good use. Unlocking the Ursine Strength Key Passive increases your damage and tankiness overall on this build. While you don't get much out of the Overpower Damage, you will gain a 30% damage multiplier while Healthy. You also benefit from the additional Maximum Life after using Trample.

Final Stretch

Upgrade Wolves with the Ferocious Wolf Pack Rune for a steady stream of Fortify. Max both Defiance and Circle of Life. Finally, stretch over to Bad Omen for some additional Lightning synergy.

Spending Renown

After gathering all Renown in Diablo 4 you have 10 extra Skill Points to spend on every character. Your first priority is to spend them toward the leveling progression we've shown above. Once you've reached the end, put them into these nodes to build toward the Tornado Druid Endgame Build Guide.

Check out our Renown Guide to unlock all your additional rewards efficiently. 

Druid Spirit Boons

Packleader is used to reset Poison Creeper, Wolves and Ravens. Scythe Talons, Overload and Avian Wrath provide some extra damage, while Wariness is there for defense. Your main focus is to unlock Packleader as soon as Level 15.

Lightning Storm Druid Leveling Spirit Boons

Unlocking Spirit Boons

Once you reach level 15, you have to complete a short questline starting in Túr Dúlra, Scosglen. To gain access to the Priority Quest, you first have to defeat the Stronghold of evil forces that has overrun Túr Dúlra. You receive 25 Druidic Spirit Offerings to unlock your first Boon when you complete the questline.

Each Spirit has 4 Boons that are unlocked with 25 Druidic Spirit Offerings each. On 3 of the Spirits, they unlock in a specific order. The outlier is the Snake Spirit - You have to unlock all his Boons simultaneously, meaning you need to collect 100 Druidic Spirit Offerings to gain access to its Boons.

Learn more details in our full Druid Spirit Boons Guide.

Gear Progression & Global Stat Priorities

Ultimately, the best weapon for a leveling Companion Druid is a Two-Handed Staff for as much Damage as possible. Always go for higher DPS over the rest of a weapon's stats during leveling.

If you have multiple weapons with the same DPS, prioritize these stats:

  • 2-Handed Weapon: Preferably Staves, prioritizing Weapon Damage, then Willpower, Max Life, Critical Strike Damage, Spirit on Kill and Resource Cost Reduction

Upgrade only your Weapon at the Blacksmith and fill their sockets with Sapphires.

Armor

Armor pieces typically grant us Defense and Utility stats, except the Gloves which offer a tidal wave of Offense. Here are the important stats to look for:

  • Helm: Life, Spirit per Second, Willpower, Cooldown Reduction, Ranks to Poison Creeper
  • Armor: Life, Spirit per Second, any Elemental Resistance, Willpower, Armor
  • Gloves: Ranks to Lightning Storm, Critical Strike Chance, Willpower, Critical Strike Damage, Life
  • Pants: Life, any Elemental Resistance, Willpower, Armor
  • Boots: Movement Speed, Spirit per Second, Willpower, Life, Armor

Jewelry

Jewelry provides powerful Offensive stats that help us on our leveling journey. Pay close attention to the rolls as higher leveled pieces aren't always better:

  • Amulet: Movement Speed, Critical Strike Chance, Ranks of Nature's Reach, Resource Cost Reduction, %Willpower
  • Rings: Willpower, Critical Strike Chance, Maximum Life, Spirit on Kill, Critical Strike Damage

Do not upgrade Armor or Jewelry while leveling. Socket Armor with Rubies and Jewelry with gems that correspond to your lowest Elemental Resistance.

Read more about itemization in our Damage Explained, Defense Explained, and Stats Explained articles.

Legendary Aspects

The Codex of Power is a collection of Legendary Aspects you can imprint onto Rare or Legendary items at the Occultist. They unlock after completing specific Dungeons located around Sanctuary. For leveling, there are a few Aspects that are particularly impactful on this build and should be obtained as soon as possible:

Codex Leveling Aspects in Order of Priority:

AspectDungeon
Shepherd's AspectBloodsoaked Crag - Dry Steppes
Inner CalmRaethwind Wilds - Scosglen
Aspect of RetaliationSeaside Descent - Dry Steppes
Overcharged AspectMariner's Refuge - Scosglen
Aspect of MightDark Ravine - Dry Steppes
Aspect of the ProtectorLost Archives - Fractured Peaks
Aspect of DisobedienceHalls of the Damned - Kehjistan
Ghostwalker AspectBroken Bulwark - Scosglen

Warning: DO NOT imprint your Weapons as they are constantly replaced while leveling. Put Offensive Aspects on your Amulet, Rings, or Gloves instead.

Learn everything about the Codex of Power here.

Helpful Legendary Powers

Here are all helpful Legendary Aspects for the Companion Druid that can either be found in the Codex of Power or Extracted from an item drop. Note that all Legendary Aspects can be found from item drops, and that these can roll better and often significantly better than ones sourced from the Codex of Power.

  • Aspect of the Stampede
    • Gamble Totems
    • Significantly increases your damage output. Replaces Inner Calm should you find it.
  • Lightning Dancer
    • Gamble Totems
    • Further enhances the AoE capability of Lightning Storm and replaces Overcharged.
  • Subterranean
    • Gamble Totems
    • Excellent at proccing Packleader.

Discover every Druid Legendary Power in our Druid Overview.

How To Level

In Diablo 4 you level by completing the Campaign, collecting Grim Favors for the Tree of Whispers, completing Helltide activities, grinding Dungeons, or interacting with the Seasonal mechanics. While there are many ways to level up in Diablo 4, not all of them are made equal.

Campaign Leveling

  • For your first character in Diablo 4, completing the Campaign provides the best gameplay experience and gives you access to key unlocks like your Mount.
    • If you don't have your Mount, you MUST progress the Campaign until you complete the quest Donan's Favor at the start of Act 4.
    • After obtaining your Mount you can skip the remainder of the campaign at any time.
    • The Campaign is the slowest way to level, but it's worth experiencing the Campaign and Diablo 4's storyline at least once.
    • To play Seasonal Content you need to have completed or skipped the Campaign.

Seasonal / Alt Leveling

  • Complete the Seasonal questline, progress your Seasonal Journey to unlock Legendary Aspects and work on your Seasonal powers.
  • If your account is below Rank 5 Renown in each zone, focus on completing your Renown.
    • This only needs to be done once per realm (Softcore / Hardcore).
  • Complete the Dungeons needed for any Legendary Aspects from your Codex of Power.
  • From level 1-50 you should focus on getting experience in Helltides by combining Helltide activities with Grim Favors for the Tree of Whispers or complete Gathering Legion Events.
  • After level 50 you need to balance leveling up, Glyph Experience and participating in Endgame activities like Helltide, Tree of Whispers and Bosses. The fastest experience possible after reaching World Tier 3 is completing Nightmare dungeons with monsters exactly 10 levels above your current level. Check out our Nightmare Dungeon Tier List for the best Nightmare Dungeon layouts!
  • Around level 30-45 you should move to World Tier 3.
  • Around level 50-65 you should move to World Tier 4.
  • Alternatively: Get boosted by a friend to World Tier 4 then leech experience/loot and Glyph exp (post 50), in Nightmare dungeons.
  • Find the most efficient way of leveling your character in detail in our Speed Leveling Guide.

Leveling Tips and Tricks

Let's look at some tips and tricks to remember when leveling up!

  • Level Up Your Potion. You need to farm materials to upgrade your character's potion.
    • Make sure you collect all materials as you explore Sanctuary, especially Gallowvine which is used in many Elixir recipes!
  • Compare your Items... Literally. Press Shift over an item in your inventory to compare it to what you're wearing.
    • This makes it easy to determine what is and isn't an upgrade.
  • Don't Imprint Your Best Aspect Onto Your Weapon. The most critical piece of gear while leveling up is your weapon, which gets replaced constantly.
    • It is a better idea to put your best Offensive Aspect on your Amulet, which can be used for a long time.
  • Sacred is just better. Between level 30 and 50 you're able to beat the Capstone Dungeon and enter World Tier 3, you gain access to powerful Sacred items which have higher item power and better stats. Getting a Sacred weapon significantly improves your farming speed.
    • The same happens with World Tier 4 and Ancestral gear at level 60.

Video Guide

Summary

  • The Lightning Storm Druid Leveling Build revolves around channeling devastating strikes with Lightning Storm.
    • Channel Lightning Storm to its maximum size, and maintain it by using it at least every 6 seconds!
    • Tapping your hotkey instead of holding it results in faster casts with Lightning Storm.
  • Use your Companion Skills as a burst damage against tough enemies.
  • Look out for helpful Legendary Aspects in the Codex of Power, especially those that buff your damage & damage reduction.

Credits

Written by IBoilerUp
Reviewed by Moxsy

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