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Rogue Class Overview

Last Updated: January 5th 2024

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The Rogue is one of the 5 classes available in Diablo 4. Learn all about their Strengths, Weaknesses, Skills, Items and Tips & Tricks in our overview!

Class Identity

The Rogue is a fast, agile fighter relying on a combination of melee and ranged attacks as well as various tricks up their sleeves such as grenades and traps. They are fun to play with fast-paced action and many customization options. Their combat style can range from very methodical to lightning-fast zapping around the battlefield. Their skills are fueled by Energy, a resource that slowly recovers on its own or can be filled up quickly through various effects. Most skills deal Physical damage by default but there are various mechanics also delving into Cold, Poison and Shadow damage types.

Female and Male Rogue

Strengths

  • Rogues deal high damage. All Core Skills are impactful and you have access to a range of passives that further boost your damage in many situations. While Energy is a scarce resource to fuel your Core Skills, you have many ways to recover it quickly and allow for spamming of your most powerful abilities.
  • Rogues are fast. They have multiple movement skills on a short cooldown and various ways to boost their base Movement Speed through active skills and passives. In addition, Rogues have many ways of applying various Crowd Control effects such as Slow, Chill, Freeze and Stun. They also have access to the special Daze mechanic through their Smoke Grenade skill.
  • Rogues are versatile. You can combine melee and ranged abilities, imbue your attacks, move around and lay traps. A lot of combinations are possible to customize your build and adjust to your playstyle.

Weaknesses

  • Rogues rely on positioning. Skills like Penetrating Shot or Twisting Blades are particularly sensitive to where you and your enemies are located but the same applies to all archetypes including melee and trap-based builds. Ranged builds in general need to pay attention to where they tread to maximize their output without dying.
  • Rogues are squishy. Especially with melee builds you need to be very careful as the class doesn't have access to a lot of strong defensive mechanics. Dark Shroud is the only really powerful source of damage reduction but has a long cooldown and requires you to dodge most attacks, something that is not easily achievable in the midst of combat.
  • Rogues have many conditional effects. While the vast toolkit available to you allow many exciting ways to build your character, you are also bound by their limitations. When you don't get to apply your Crowd Control or Vulnerable effects, your damage done might suffer and you open yourself up for retaliation from your enemies.

Equipment

A Rogue specialty is their ability to equip two one-handed melee weapons (Swords/Daggers) and a ranged weapon (Bow/Crossbow) at the same time and swap between depending on the ability used. Certain abilities require a specific weapon to be equipped and unlike the Barbarians with their Arsenal System, you cannot choose which weapon to use for which ability.

The stats of each weapon are always applied, meaning even with a full melee or full ranged build, you still benefit from equipping the other weapon types.

Rogue Item Slots:

Armor

Helm
Chest Armor
Gloves
Pants
Boots

Jewelry

Amulet
Ring (x2)

Weapons

Ranged Weapon
&
One-Handed Weapon (x2)

Example gear for Twisting Blades Rogue

Check out our Legendary Aspects and Codex of Power Overview or our Uniques Overview to learn more about which items the Rogue has access to.

Skills & Passives

Skill points are unlocked by level-ups and the Renown system. As you spend more points, you unlock more and more categories of skills. Each active skill can be leveled up to 5 times or more with items, increasing their power (usually +10% of the base value) or reducing their cooldown by 5% with each additional rank. After unlocking a skill, you can enhance it with another point and then choose one out of two upgrades to specialize it further.

In addition, there are passives found all over the tree, attached as optional choices to certain skill clusters. They grant small bonuses to damage, defense or utility under certain conditions and help to round out your build by shifting it further in the direction you want to take. All passives have 3 ranks and usually scale linearly.

Check out our Skill Tree Overview to learn more details.

Basic Skills

The Rogue's Basic Skills are weak and mostly utility skills used to apply various debuffs, recover Energy or build Combo Points in most fights. However, when you run out of resources, they are useful to finish off small enemies or to add extra chip damage against an Elite while you prepare for a stronger attack later.

Puncture

Enhanced Puncture

Fundamental Puncture

Primary Puncture

Notes:
This skill seems particularly useful in later stages when near permanent Critical Strikes both apply a slow and recover Energy from various targets. Otherwise it can be a consistent source of the Vulnerable debuff against single targets to boost DPS even early on. Note that this skill scales with your melee weapons despite attacking at range.

Core Skills

These skills are the bread and butter of most Rogue builds. They spend lots of Energy but deal much higher damage and hit more targets than Basic skills. In addition, Core Skills can be amplified by Combo Points generated with Basic Skills if the appropriate Specialization is chosen, allowing more tactical gameplay and better use of your resources.

Barrage

Enhanced Barrage

Advanced Barrage

Improved Barrage

Notes:
This is a great ranged Core Skill, combining both pack clear with good single target damage. The first arrow always fires exactly in front of you and further arrows at an increasing angle slightly towards the left and right in front of you, up to ~30°. Multiple arrows can hit the same enemy to increase single target damage at close range.

Agility Skills

These skills move you around the battlefield, allowing quick repositioning or engaging of enemies. Almost every build should have at least one of these, with Dash being a great universal skill for fast-paced Rogue action.

Shadow Step

Enhanced Shadow Step

Disciplined Shadow Step

Methodical Shadow Step

Notes:
This skill is great for a melee playstyle revolving around Twisting Blades because it allows quick repositioning in combat. Additionally, you can use it to teleport through impassable terrain such as cliffs to potentially skip a long walk if no direct path is available, making it a great choice for any outdoor farming build.

Subterfuge Skills

This cluster of skills adds various utility choices to your setup. Generally you want to choose one of these depending on your build and playstyle to assist you either offensively, defensively or both. They massively add to the Rogue's class identity by giving you a little box of tricks to choose from.

Dark Shroud

Enhanced Dark Shroud

Countering Dark Shroud

Subverting Dark Shroud

Notes:
This skill is amazing for any build, especially ranged builds. The damage reduction is significant when you can avoid most small hits and keep the stack count high. This might not always be possible for melee builds where you constantly take chip damage, but it can still help against elites and bosses. Additionally, it allows faster travel with increased Movement Speed.

Imbuement Skills

These skills allow you to imbue your next two attacks with extra effects. Since they have a cooldown, they are effective for very methodical, slow-paced playstyles for example revolving around Combo Points. Imbueable skills are all Core Skills, Dash, Shadow Step and the Rain of Arrows ultimate. Attacks that hit enemies multiple times such as Flurry, Barrage or Rapid Fire apply the imbuement effects on every hit without consuming additional charges, making them particularly effective.

Poison Imbuement

Enhanced Poison Imbuement

Blended Poison Imbuement

Mixed Poison Imbuement

Notes:
This skill almost single-handedly enables a whole DoT build archetype for the Rogue. Combined with damage over time effects and the Poison Trap that can reset Poison Imbuement's cooldown you watch enemies melt after a coordinated attack, balanced out by long cooldowns that might leave you without any tools to deal with remaining enemies that you didn't hit. This skill works best when paired with Flurry which hits 4 times per use, applying a stack each time to multiple enemies.

Ultimate Skills

Ultimates are high-impact abilities with a long cooldown and need to be built around to be very effective, so not every build runs with one of them. Only one can be chosen and other than regular skills they have a single rank with a two-step linear upgrade path that offers no extra choices.

Shadow Clone

Prime Shadow Clone

Supreme Shadow Clone

Notes:
This ultimate is amazing in most scenarios unless you rely on special positioning or effects like Traps. For plain attack-based builds, you simply add extra damage and utility on demand with your clone. The clone stays close to you and generally aims in the same direction towards enemies.

Key Passives

These passives are located at the very bottom of the Skill Tree and couldn't be reached in the preview version. They are extremely powerful and define the overall playstyle of your build. Similar to Ultimate Skills, only one of them can be chosen. For the Rogue, they greatly amplify existing core playstyles or open up the gate for completely new ones.

Momentum

This passive only works for melee attacks under specific conditions but rewards you with powerful all-round bonuses. An easy way to include it into your build for a Flurry build is via Cold Imbuement. For Twisting Blades, it's relatively easy to activate this effect with Shadow Step and your main skill.

Unique Class Mechanic - Specialization

The Rogue has the option to choose 1 out of 3 Specializations. These can be swapped freely at any time and open up further build customization options. The three options are:

  • Combo Points
  • Inner Sight
  • Preparation

Check out our Rogue Class Specialization Overview for more details on this system.

Attributes

The four core attributes provide the following to the Rogue:

  • Strength: Resource Generation (3% per 100), Armor (1 each)
  • Intelligence: Critical Strike Chance (2% per 100), All Resistances (5% per 100)
  • Willpower: Healing Received (10% per 100), Overpower Damage (25% per 100)
  • Dexterity: Skill Damage (10% per 100), Dodge Chance (1% per 100)

Dexterity is considered the main attribute as it multiplies all your damage done. Strength and Intelligence are also useful for their offensive and defensive bonuses while Willpower does next to nothing. Some items can roll bonuses to attributes and later on Paragon boards allow stacking the right stats for your character. In addition, you may find hidden Altars of Lilith in the open world that unlock a permanent bonus for all of your characters.

Check out our Stat Overview to learn more.

Video Guide

This video goes over the details of this article and shows some gameplay and skill clips.

Summary

  • Rogues are agile fighters based mostly on dealing Physical damage with melee and ranged attacks.
  • In addition, they have access to Cold, Shadow and Poison effects.
  • Positioning and quick decision-making play a huge role in combat.
  • They have many tools for build customization to fit your preferred playstyle.
  • Energy is their primary resource. It recovers slowly on its own but can be refilled with various effects.

Credits

Written by wudijo
Reviewed by Northwar, Echohack

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