Which Diablo 3 class should you play in Season 27?
The choice of which class to play in a Diablo 3 Season ultimately comes down to what you’ll have the most fun playing. Season 27 adds the new Sanctified mechanic, letting you upgrade legendaries with the Sanctified designation using an Angelic Crucible, giving them the perfect stats of an Ancient Legendary, the usual legendary powers, and a new Sanctified power.
Since each class gets three potential new powers and you can only equip one Sanctified legendary item at a time (but you can have as many in your bags/stash as you want) it will be possible to have specific builds using different Sanctified legendary items, and thus tapping into one of the three Sanctified powers available to your class. So, how do you decide which Class has the Sanctified powers you want to play around with?
Well, for starters, you can look here at a list of all of them.
Season 27 and the Angelic Crucible
The basics for Season 27 are not especially complex. The major new mechanic, Sanctified items, requires you to find an Angelic Cruicble in game — they can only be found once you are level 70, and they can only be used on Equippable, not Crafted legendary items. Each Sanctified item has perfect stats, like an Ancient Legendary item, and in addition to its usual Legendary ability it has one of the three class based powers. If, when making a Sanctified item, you don’t get the power that you want, you can Sanctify the item again, so if you’re going for a specific power like Every two seconds, call down Fist of the Heavens on a random nearby enemy for your Crusader, you can keep trying until you get it.
In order to really answer the question of which class you should be playing this Season, let’s take a look at the options and consider what they bring to each class.
- Whirlwind pulls in and holds all enemies within 25 yards.
- Hammer of the Ancients hits in all directions around the Barbarian. Every seventh cast of Hammer of the Ancients unleashes a powerful shockwave.
- Hitting enemies generates stacks of Tempest Rhythm. Activating Wrath of the Berserker consumes 50 stacks of Tempest Rhythm and startles enemies within 16 yards, causing them to take 0.5% increased damage per stack for 10 seconds. Max 100 stacks.
I think it’s fair to say that all of these are good, but Tempest Rhythm feels like it’s going to be a bit of a bear to use in game. It depends on how hard it is to keep the stacks up — if they fall off quickly and it’s hard to get them up to 100%, then it will be a less compelling power. But if the stack is relatively easy to maintain, considering how many specs use Wrath of the Berserker and the fact that a 50 stack will give you a 25% damage boost on top of Wrath of the Berserker’s damage boost, it suddenly becomes very compelling indeed. A strong set of class abilities.
- Blessed Hammer now crackles with energy damaging enemies within 15 yards of its path. All runes but Dominion now throw the hammer in a direct path in front of the Crusader.
- Every two seconds, call down Fist of the Heavens on a random nearby enemy.
- After casting Falling Sword, you descend from the sky with two Archangels that wield immense holy skills and benefit from your holy damage skill modifiers.
I’m not going to lie, while the Blessed Hammer power doesn’t really excite me, the Fist of the Heavens and Falling Sword powers make me very interested in playing a Crusader in Season 27. And it’s not like the Blessed Hammer power is bad — generating an AoE trail of damage in a direct line in front of you that hits everything within 15 yards of the path of the Hammer? That’s pretty solid. I’d say that Crusader is looking pretty interesting for Season 27.
- Strafe now casts the last non-channeled Hatred spending ability casted.
- Casting Vengeance unleashes a barrage of rockets that deal damage equal to a percentage of an enemy’s current hit points. The percentage per rocket is reduced if the enemy is an Elite or Boss. This effect cannot occur more than once every 60 seconds.
- Firing Cluster Arrow concentrates its explosive force into a piercing ray of light.
I think these are all good, but I don’t think Vengeance’s power needed that caveat for Elites and Bosses and the one keeping the effect from proccing more than once per 60 seconds. Both Strafe and Cluster Arrow are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to the Demon Hunter newsletter in Season 27. I wish there was a bit more concrete numbers here, though.
- Casting Wave of Light now summons a bell at the target location that deals damage when the caster attacks the bell. Up to seven bells can be active at one time.
- All Way of the Hundred Fists combo punches use the second stage combo punch.
- The target of your Seven-Sided Strike is barraged with spiritual punches for 15 seconds. This can only affect one enemy at a time.
I don’t know that I’ll bother with the Wave of Light power — it could be crazy strong but I dislike having to attack the bells directly. But for players who are better at playing a Monk than me (that would be every Monk player ever) it sounds fun and could indeed be crazy strong with seven bells getting seven hells punched out of them. Way of the Hundred Fists and Seven-Sided Strike both look good to me. I think Seven-Sided Strike would be my personal favorite just because I love the idea of a target getting lit up by more punches for a full 15 seconds after I hit them.
- Your Golem now picks up corpses within 20 yards. Each corpse it stores allows you to cast any corpse spending ability with the max number of corpses consumed per cast. Up to 30 corpses can be stored.
- Enemies within 50 yards are constantly assaulted by the Army of the Dead – Unconventional Warfare while this item is equipped.
- Hitting enemies with Death Nova five consecutive times adds a spirit that afflicts an enemy every fifth cast of Death Nova. Up to three spirits can be sent at a time.
I absolutely love the idea of a Necromancer with a golem acting as a corpse caddy for their various corpse spending powers. It’s ludicrous and I will play a Necro in Season 27 just to try this out. The other two powers aren’t bad — who doesn’t like the idea of a constant Army of the Dead mauling everything around you or a weird ghost that shows up after you hit Death Nova enough times? But for me it’s the Corpse Caddy Golem that’s the star of this particular set of powers.
- Five seconds after casting Haunt, all Haunted enemies within 50 yards are pulled to the Witch Doctor.
- Horrify becomes an aura that causes enemies to receive 15% more damage and deal 15% less damage in addition to its other effects.
- Your Gargantuan spreads Locusts Swarm to any enemy within 16 yards and summons Zombie Dogs periodically. Zombie Dogs now gain every rune when summoned.
I am an absolute mark for any time a power gives you the effects of every rune. That’s just hot. I’m not a big Witch Doctor player, but the Haunt and Horrify powers look good — a 15% damage buff that also nerfs the damage you take from everything in your aura is pretty sweet, and if you’re trying for a build based around Greater Rifts, that Haunt change is pretty nice — pulling things to you like that means that they get interrupted.
- Casting Storm Armor sends a power thunderbolt from the skies that instantly kills a random enemy within 30 yards. Bosses are not killed but take significant damage. This effect cannot occur more than once every 60 seconds.
- Arcane Orb now periodically spawns up to four orbiting charges that will generate an additional orb when cast. All charges from the Arcane Orbit rune now detonate at the same time.
- Magic Missile fires 20 missiles and gains the effect of the Seeker rune.
20 Magic Missiles that automatically get the Seeker rune?
Play a Wizard in Diablo 3 Season 27. The other two are good, but the idea of 20 missiles and two runes on the spell? That’s just beautiful.
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.
Need more help deciding? Read Blizzard’s descriptions of each class, which give you a feel of gameplay and lay out the lore behind each: Barbarian, Crusader, 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 melee, 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.
Need more help deciding? Read Blizzard’s descriptions of each class, which give you a feel of gameplay and lay out the lore behind each: Demon Hunter, Necromancer, Witch Doctor, Wizard.
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:
- Season 27 and the Angelic Crucible
- How to run the Echoing Nightmare (Now a permanent feature in Diablo 3)
- Greater Rift changes in patch 2.7.3
- Speed leveling 101
- How to make the most of Diablo 3’s Follower changes
- 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, after all that, what class do I recommend for Season 27? Well, I’m personally going to start off on a Barbarian, with Crusader, Monk and Wizard as my picks for alts, and Wizard definitely leading the pack. But that’s just me. The way Diablo 3 works, you can succeed on just about any class once you have the proper gear and spec sorted out, so take a gander at all those powers and decide which one sound like the most fun to you.
Originally published June 14, 2018. Updated August 31, 2022.
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