The Twisting Blades Rogue is one of the fastest leveling builds in Diablo 4. It combines a melee playstyle with extremely high mobility to maximize the number of targets hit and fly through the zones. While it's not easy to play, it feels amazing once it all comes together.
Twisting Blades is a two-step Core Skill that deals moderate single target damage in melee range first before launching returning blades from your target that follow you, dealing high damage to everything in their path. The entire build revolves around the second part of the skill because it's stronger and can decimate entire packs in one go. This converts an otherwise simple melee build into an extremely active hit-and-run playstyle that requires quick thinking and repositioning. In addition, the Bladedancer's Aspect adds a unique characteristic to the skill by allowing the returning blades to spin around you for AoE damage.
To make all of it work together, we invest into Dash and Shadow Step to zip around the battlefield so that the returning blades destroy everything. Depending on the situation, we use Shadow Imbuement or Poison Imbuement to boost our damage against packs or single targets.
This guide teaches you all about how to reach the endgame in Diablo 4 with the Twisting Blades Rogue. Let's get started!
This build guide takes you through the Campaign and Early Game up to Level 50. If you're looking for Endgame guides, check out our Rogue Guides section!
- Super Fast
- Constant Teleports
- Attack and Don't Look Back
- Difficult to Play
- Mediocre Defenses
- High Effort Playstyle
- Needs Constant Movement
Season 3 - Season of the Construct
In Season 3, you obtain the Seneschal Construct through the Season Questline, then collect Governing Stones or Tuning Stones to add attacks and augment them to support your build. Only certain Tuning Stones work with a particular Governing Stone. Look at the bottom of any Tuning Stone tooltip to see if it is compatible with your Construct's currently equipped Stones. Lastly, they can be leveled up by getting duplicates to max out their power. Check out our full Season 3 guide for more information.
- Tempest - This ability hits at a fast rate and can apply buffs at range reliably.
- Slowing Support - Helps us to trigger damage to crowd controlled enemies and the Wiles Paragon node.
- Efficiency Support - Critical Strike Chance is paramount.
- Safeguard Support - Provides free extra damage reduction.
- Flash of Adrenaline - A free damage buff to boost our character further.
- Duration Support - To improve the uptime of the buff.
- Tactical Support - To improve the uptime of the buff.
- Fortify Support - Rogues have no other access to Fortify so this adds free damage reduction.
Many other options are possible to support this build, including different Governing Stones to apply the effects. Feel free to experiment!
- Autodefense - Great to increase survivability.
- Reconstruct - To recover health more reliably.
- Poison Support - Can be combined with Debilitating Toxins for additional defense.
- Frigid Support - Can be combined with Frigid Finesse for additional damage and stagger.
- Breaking Support - Helps to keep up Vulnerable and remove Barrier from enemies in Nightmare Dungeons or monsters like Knights and the Butcher.
- Resource Support - Helps to keep the setup smooth to play.
If you are lucky enough to get either Evernight or Genesis from Uber Malphas, you want to swap them in on your Construct for their powerful effects.
The build doesn't change in a significant way between Seasonal and Eternal game modes. You may be a bit weaker, slower, squishier or your Construct may not deal some additional damage, but the build is designed to work without it.
Twisting Blades is our main ability. With this Core Skill you stick two knives into your enemy which return to you from the enemy's position after 1.5 seconds. The second part of the ability is the real damage in this build and everything else is built it around to maximize its potential. In addition, the Advanced Twisting Blades upgrade helps to lower our cooldowns, making this a very fast-paced and fluid build to play.
Skill Tree & Gameplay
To start off we have to put 2 points into Basic Skills to unlock the other sections. Puncture is our choice because we need as much Energy as possible and it can apply Vulnerable to help out with bigger targets.
Unlocking Twisting Blades
Twisting Blades is the heart of this build. After attacking an enemy in melee range, the blades return to your current position 1.5 seconds later, hitting all enemies in their path. Whenever you fight more than one target, positioning yourself so that you hit as many as possible with the returning blades is key. Right now you don't have the mobility tools you'll acquire soon, so it comes down to walking and Evade in those situations. Attack enemies 1-3 times, then start running so that pursuing monsters get hit from behind.
At this point you unlock two of the Rogue's signature skills: Dash and Shadow Step. The first has two charges and allows you to quickly engage, escape or reposition yourself. The second is another mobility tool that's best used to engage or quickly teleport to another target, allowing you to hit more enemies with Twisting Blades. It also allows teleportation across cliffs which is very helpful in outdoor zones.
At level 15, we unlock the Rogue's Specialization class mechanic. Finish this Priority Quest as soon as possible to get Combo Points. Using Puncture up to 3 times boosts the damage of your next Core Skill and buffs you with more Movement Speed, allowing for much better Energy economy.
This is the part where the full build comes online. Imbuements are Skills that can buff your Core Skills with extra effects.
- Shadow Imbuement is an AoE tool, best used when there are many enemies nearby. It also refills Energy via Consuming Shadows.
- Poison Imbuement is great to melt single targets like elites and bosses.
- Note that both Imbuements cannot be used simultaneously.
At this point you should have some Veiled Crystals from salvaging Rare items that allows you to imprint an item at the Occultist. Complete Jalal's Vigil to unlock Bladedancer's Aspect and put it on your Amulet (because it's 50% stronger and Amulets are replaced very infrequently).
The Final Passive & Journey to Level 50
Close Quarters Combat is our Key Passive of choice for the build. It can easily be activated by combining Puncture + Twisting Blades, providing a substantial damage and Attack Speed bonus. In addition, it allows us to focus on Damage to Crowd Controlled Enemies stat as an extra damage multiplier.
At this point, the core setup is complete. All of our remaining points go into boosting our damage, defenses, speed or already allocated skills. This makes transitioning into the endgame very smooth with this build.
Gathering all Renown in Diablo 4 yields you 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 Twisting Blades Endgame Build Guide:
Check out our Renown Guide to unlock all your additional rewards efficiently.
Combo Points - Use Basic Skills to boost your subsequent Core Skills.
Whenever you fight bigger enemies, use this effect to boost your Energy efficiency so you don't run out of resources. Against weaker foes, this may not be necessary. Combo Points are displayed above your XP bar near the bottom of the screen.
Once you reach level 15, you have to complete a short questline starting in Menestad, Fractured Peaks. A Priority Quest leads you there to help out Leyrana. After a few stops outside of town you have to enter the Forsaken Quarry Dungeon and finish the questline there, unlocking Combo Points. After that, the other two Specializations unlock automatically once you reach their minimum level (Inner Sight at 20, Preparation at 30) and can be freely assigned at any time.
Learn more details in our full Rogue Specialization Guide.
Gear Progression & Stat Priorities
As a Twisting Blades Rogue, always use your highest DPS Melee Weapon available for more damage. Your Ranged Weapon is simply a stat stick to fuel their power, so its DPS is secondary. The stats to look for on these are:
- 1-H Weapons: Pref. Daggers, High DPS, Core Skill Damage, Damage to Close Enemies, Damage to Crowd Controlled Enemies
- Ranged Weapons: Pref. Crossbow, Core Skill Damage, Damage to Close Enemies, Damage to Crowd Controlled Enemies
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: Imbuement Ranks, Cooldown, Life, Resistances
- Armor: Damage Reduction, Armor, Life, Resistances
- Gloves: Twisting Blades Ranks, Attack Speed, Critical Strike Chance
- Pants: Damage Reduction, Armor, Life, Resistances
- Boots: Movement Speed, Resistances
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, Energy Cost Reduction, Damage, Cooldown Reduction
- Rings: Critical Strike Chance, Damage to Crowd Controlled, Damace to Close, Life
If you have sockets on your items, fill them with the following:
- Weapons: Skull
- Armor: Ruby
- Jewelry: Any Gem to boost your lowest Resistance
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 powers that can significantly help us if we have the funds to imprint them:
Top Codex Legendary Aspects
|1. Bladedancer's Aspect
|Jalal's Vigil - Scosglen
|2. Ravenous Aspect
|Shifting City - Dry Steppes
|3. Edgemaster’s Aspect
Learn more details in our article covering the Codex of Power.
Helpful Legendary Powers
Here are more helpful Legendary Aspects for the Twisting Blades Rogue 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.
- Gamble 1h Weapons.
- Provides extra Attack Speed after critting, making the build a lot more powerful.
- Drop only.
- Gamble 1h Weapons.
- Adds even more Attack Speed for our Basic Skills.
- Codex unlock: Buried Halls - Dry Steppes
- Gamble Pants.
- Provides a ton of extra defense and stacks up easily because we hit many targets with our attacks.
- Codex unlock: Halls of the Damned - Kehjistan
- Gamble Rings.
- Provides some extra resources to make the build feel more smooth.
- Codex unlock: Champion's Demise - Dry Steppes
- Gamble Boots
- Provides extra speed and the ability to move through enemies, which is great for better targeting.
- Codex unlock: Broken Bulwark - Scosglen
- Gamble Pants
- Since we use Basic Skills frequently, this damage reduction effect is easy to trigger.
- Codex unlock: Dark Ravine - Dry Steppes
How To Level
You level in Diablo 4 by completing the Campaign, collecting Grim Favors for the Tree of Whispers, grinding Dungeons, or interacting with Seasonal mechanics. While there are many ways to level up in Diablo 4, not all of them are made equal.
- 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.
- Complete the Season 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.
- Complete the Dungeons needed for any Legendary Aspects from your Codex of Power.
- From level 1-50 you should focus on getting experience, by completing dungeons with high monster density like the Domhainne Tunnels, or Sirocco Caverns.
- After level 50 you need to balance leveling up, Glyph Experience, and participating in endgame activities like Helltide, and Bosses.
- Alternatively: Get boosted by a friend to World Tier 4 then leech experience/loot and Glyph exp (post 50), in Nightmare dungeons.
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.
- This makes imprinting a Legendary Aspect that CANNOT be found in the Codex of Power onto your weapon a bad idea in the long run.
- While leveling, only imprint Legendary Aspects from the Codex of Power onto your weapon if any at all.
- 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 45 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.
- There's little point to entering World Tier 3 before 45 because that's the minimum level where you can equip Sacred items.
- The same happens with World Tier 4 and Ancestral gear at level 60.
- The Twisting Blades Rogue is a super fast, fun to play leveling build.
- Attack enemies, then use Evade, Dash and Shadow Step to hit more enemies with returning blades.
- Use Shadow Imbuement and Poison Imbuement depending on the situation.
- Focus on improving your Melee Weapons more than any other items.
- Look out for helpful Legendary Powers in the Codex of Power, especially Bladedancer and those that generate Energy and buff your damage/damage reduction.
- Read the Next Steps above to continue your journey.
Written by wudijo