Which Diablo 3 class should you play in Season 22?
So, we know Diablo 3 Season 22 starts on November 20, which means we’ll get a couple of days before Shadowlands hits and we’re all rampaging around the world of the dead. You’re thinking of getting into this new Season, playing with Shadow Clones and an extra Kanai’s Cube power.
That’s great! And since you’re reading this article, you’re probably thinking about what class you should play in S22. That’s perfectly understandable — we all want to have some variety and there are a few changes this time around that might make a new class super fun to explore. So, what do I think you should play this time around? What class should you pick up and try out for Season 22?
No, I’m not blinking. I’m recommending you all play as Witch Doctors this time around.
It’s time to play whatever class you enjoy
Honestly, there’s nothing in Season 22 that really requires you to play as any specific class in order to do well. The Shadow Clone power is pretty class agnostic — it doesn’t favor melee over ranged, and that distinction is pretty loose in Diablo 3 anyway, with casters like Witch Doctors and Wizards having plenty of options up close and Barbarians and Crusaders being able to dish out damage to mobs a fair distance away from them. Between the Shadow Clones and the extra Kanai’s Cube power, this is quite possibly the friendliest Season for you to simply pick any class you want and go for it.
I’m advising Witch Doctor because it’s not a class I have ever tried, but also, this item:
- Manajuma’s Way: Angry Chicken explosion damage increased from 400% to 2000%. Manajuma’s Way now includes a third legendary affix, which allows angry chicken to spawn a chicken that seeks enemies every second that deals 25% of the angry chicken’s explosion damage.
That’s a Witch Doctor weapon and mojo set. It spawns angry chickens. It now does demented levels of damage. With chickens. What else do you need? Go Witch Doctor in Season 22.
Classes for melee players
The melee-focused classes in Diablo 3 are Barbarian, Crusader, and Monk. Each of these has a different flavor to them.
- Barbarians are my soul mates and focus on brutal mass damage with huge splash attacks like Seismic Slam, Hammer of the Ancients, and Whirlwind.
- Crusaders use a big shield to block — and in some cases redirect — damage, with withering attacks like Bombardment and Heaven’s Fury that lay waste to an area.
- Monks are nearly the polar opposite of this, with high maneuverability that allows them to avoid damage that Barbarians simply absorb and Crusaders block or reflect. Attacks like Tempest Rush and Exploding Palm allow them to deal out damage while avoiding it themselves.
Essentially, if you’re looking for a melee class, these three have three variant approaches — wade in, take a beating to dole out one of your own for Barbarians, use a shield both to avoid damage and deal it out yourself while also smiting every fool in reach on the Crusader, or nimbly sidestep threats and use the enemies’ own numbers to destroy them on the Monk.
Classes for ranged players
First off, while these classes do have ranged attacks, they can use those attacks on things up close and personal to them, so don’t worry that you’ll get surrounded — each of these classes have options to bring the pain no matter where the enemy is.
Ranged players have more class options than meleers, with the Necromancer, Witch Doctor, Wizard, and Demon Hunter all focused on dealing damage from a distance.
- Wizards are the pure stuff. Magic Missile, Ray of Frost, Arcane Orb, Mirror Image, and Teleport are just some of the tricks Wizards have at their disposal. If you want to rain destruction without worrying about things like pets or minions, Wizards are the ranged class for you. Remember, your Season journey starts at level 1 with no gear or money so you won’t have to worry about optimization for quite some time.
- Demon Hunters can focus on traps, turrets, or pets to help them as they cartwheel around the battlefield, using Vault, Strafe, and Multishot to their advantage.
- Witch Doctors are a bit of a hybrid class, relying on summoned minions and curses to soften up their enemies. Then, they either use their magic to make their minions and curses stronger and whittle their crippled foes down, or they sometimes wade in to kill their debilitated enemies. If you want to use mindless Zombies as fodder and summon Gargantuan ones to fight, Sacrifice one and watch it explode, or even rain Firebats down on your foes, the Witch Doctor could be for you.
- Necromancer is a close cousin of the Witch Doctor. If you like the concept of using minions and debilitating your enemies, but not so much the specific aesthetic of the Witch Doctor, this may be your class. The Necromancer’s flavor is fairly different, with the Witch Doctor’s kit being more The Serpent and the Rainbow while the Necromancer is more straightforwardly Evil Dead, but if you like wielding a scythe while unleashing hosts of skeletons and causing your fallen enemies to explode, Necromancers are your jam.
How to level, play, and make the most of your newly-chosen class
Everyone’s equally squishy and underpowered at level 1. That’s why the game starts you off with a few shambling undead in Act 1 and gradually ramps up as you clear your way through the Cathedral. If you’re just getting started with Diablo, we have guides and info to help you out:
- Patch 2.6.10, the Patch Season 22 is part of, and how it changes things up
- Season 22 debuts Shadow Clones and an extra Kanai’s Cube power
- Speed leveling 101
- Campaign Mode, Adventure Mode, and what you should be playing
- Everything you need to know about gear
- Everything else you need to know about gear (namely Legendaries)
- Getting started with Rifts
- How to run (and succeed!) in Challenge Rifts
- How Paragon levels power up your character past level 70
- Blizzard’s Diablo forums, which are full of great resources
- Builds from Diablofans to help you put together a killer character
- Icy Veins’ class guides for Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, Witch Doctor, and Wizard
Now that you’ve decided on a character…
Actually starting a Season character is easy. Once the Season starts, there’s an option on the character creation screen to choose between a normal and Seasonal character. Seasonal characters start off with nothing — they don’t have any Paragon levels, they don’t share any stash tabs with your other character: they’re completely cut off at level 1 with starter gear.
From there, you play the game as normal, just as you did the very first time you rolled a character in Diablo 3. All the content is available to you — all five acts and Adventure Mode — so you can level to 70 doing the story, running bounties, doing rifts, and greater rifts, or you can play with friends. Season play is basically a reset that makes leveling as challenging as if you had no higher level characters to funnel you gold, gems, and legendaries.
So I hope you enjoy your Witch Doctor this Season, all. Explosive angry chickens. I mean, come on.
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