The Rogue class makes its triumphant return in Diablo 4 after not appearing in the series since the original game. One of the benefits to the Rogue is the class’ versatility regarding how players choose to utilize it. Between options for up close and fast melee combat, ranged crowd control, and devious traps and debuffs, the Rogue is a bit of a “Jack of all trades” class for those looking for something outside a pure melee or magic based play style. Where the Rogue class truly shines in Diablo 4 is with a bow, and the Cold Archer build emphasizes just how powerful (and fun) the Rogue class can be.

The Cold Archer build may be the best archery-based Rogue build in Diablo 4 for players who enjoy dealing copious damage from a distance. The biggest benefit to the Cold Archer build is that it allows the Rogue class to be more effective at crowd control through slowing and eventually freezing enemies while dealing potent DPS from afar. The build is extremely effective in solo play but helps the Rogue become an almost essential class to have as a member of a co-op party thanks to the Cold Archer’s ability to immobilize enemies. As one of the best builds for the Rogue in Diablo 4, the Cold Archer is perfect for those that like to stay out of harm’s way while still being effective damage dealers.

Skills to Prioritize for the Cold Archer Build

The Cold Archer build is a purely ranged-based build that allows players to deal increased damage to foes from a distance after applying both chill and freeze status effects. Not only can enemy mobs not reach the player thanks to being frozen, but the skill mapping for the Cold Archer works toward applying bonus damage to enemies suffering from these effects. The synergy of the Cold Archer build showcases just how useful the Rogue class can be in Diablo 4 and places emphasis on crowd control to keep the player safe against waves of enemy threats.

  • Forceful Arrow – Forceful Arrow is the prerequisite skill for any Rogue build looking to utilize a bow. But beyond being necessary for an archery-based range Rogue build, Forceful Arrow also has the benefit of applying the Vulnerable status effect to enemies and passing through enemies that have been made vulnerable.
  • Caltrops – Caltrops would be an essential skill for any ranged Rogue build, but truly shines as part of the Cold Archer thanks to their one-two punch. They both slow and damage enemies while also launching the Rogue backwards, distancing the player from mobs.
  • Cold Imbuement – Putting the “cold” in Cold Archer, Cold Imbuement applies Chill to enemies while also increasing the damage dealt to enemies suffering from the effect by 20%. Along with Caltrops, Cold Imbuement helps make the Cold Archer an expert at crowd control while also dealing significant damage from afar thanks to the synergy between skills.
  • Rapid Fire – This skill is essential to the Cold Archer build as it costs the least amount of energy to use of the Rogue’s core skills and can therefore be spammed repeatedly for maximum effect. While the skill initially fires up to five arrows in rapid succession, the Rogue’s specialization eventually allows for up to eight arrows to be fired at once. Rapid Fire is excellent at dealing with either single targets or mowing down mobs from a distance, turning Diablo 4’s Rogue class into a medieval machine gun.

How to Use the Cold Archer Build Against Diablo 4’s Enemies and Bosses

Players will want to initiate enemy encounters as the Cold Archer by dropping Caltrops in the path of enemy mobs, simultaneously controlling them through the chill effect and creating a safe distance. Once enemy mobs have wandered into the AoE of the Caltrops, players will activate Cold Imbuement and spam Forceful Arrow until enemies have the vulnerable effect and then hit them with Rapid Fire to melt them from afar.

As a ranged build, players will want to ensure distance between their character and enemies at all cost, but the skills utilized as the Cold Archer help make crowd control a breeze. In addition to the synergies afforded by the Rogue class’ skill tree, there’s plenty of gear available to loot in Diablo 4 that applies bonuses to damage against slowed, chilled, frozen, or otherwise crowd-controlled enemies.

The same general strategy used for enemy mobs applies to bosses as well, with the most important factor to keep in mind being keeping a healthy distance between the player and overpowering threats. Because some of the bosses in Diablo 4 are more than capable of wiping an entire party in seconds, the Cold Archer is best positioned at the edge of encounters and should heavily rely on Caltrops for crowd control and maintaining distance.

Diablo 4 will be available June 6 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.


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The material in this article is written on the basis of another article.

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