Diablo IV is a game about keeping evil locked behind the gates of hell and making the numbers go up. Kill enemies, get stronger, kill more enemies, get even stronger. This is the endless cycle at the center of Blizzard’s hit action-RPG, but recently players have managed to take that logic to its absurd conclusion, discovering an overpowered Druid build that can hit for over a billion damage.
“HIGHEST DAMAGE EVER HIT IN DIABLO 4!!!!” tweeted Twitch streamer Moxsy on July 7. It was accompanied by a screenshot showing nine-digit numbers on the screen, and a YouTube link to footage showing Moxsy’s Druid hitting for over 1 billion damage. While it’s impossible to say for sure if it was the most damage ever hit, excluding glitches, it didn’t take long before it was surpassed.
A day later Moxsy was back and hitting for over 1.8 billion. “Holy shit!” he tweeted, clearly more in the zone than ever. Shortly after that, content creator Echohack broke the 2 billion damage barrier. Another player, SquishyWarrior943, appears to have more than doubled that, hitting for nearly 5 billion. As Forbes writer Paul Tassi points out, the Druid build is being touted as the fastest enemy clear in Diablo IV at the moment. So what does it consist of?
Moxsy has a YouTube video breaking it down in detail. It revolves around a “double dip interaction” that allows for “crazy ramping damage.” The key is an Aspect called Stormclaw which makes Critical Strikes with Shred deal 20 to 45 percent of the damage dealt as Lightning damage. That’s paired with Waxing Gibbous so that a 100 percent of the hits are critical strikes. Since Shred lets the Druid deal 100 percent vulnerable damage, meaning it will deal double damage to enemies that are vulnerable.
The unique thing about this pairing is that the double damage against vulnerable enemies effectively gets counted twice—the first time and the second time when each of the other effects, like the Lightning damage from Stormclaw, gets applied. The result is a roughly four-time multiplier on top of everything else, which is what Moxsy means when he says he’s “double dipping.” The more global damage modifiers on his Druid, the more times he gets to take advantage of that double dip.
An update to this build called “Lightning Shred Druid 2.0” takes things even further by utilizing the Grizzly Rage Aspect to transform into a Dire Werewolf. This makes it possible to spam Shred more times thanks to a spirit cost reduction. Another Aspect called Rampaging Werebeast stacks 10 percent additional critical damage per hit. From there, the math begins to get hazy, but with these pieces in place, snowballing through enemies in rapid succession has eventually allowed players to reach billions in damage per hit.
“What is causing the damage ramp up to hit so high,” he asked during a recent video. “Honestly, I wish I could explain it. It seems pretty random, it seems pretty bugged. The number one thing to make it more consistent that I found is you need to kill a ton of things in Grizzly Rage and you need to be snowballing.”
Whether that’s intended by Blizzard, which seems very unlikely, is an entirely different question. The math is so broken that it feels inevitable that the developers will step in with a patch to tweak it somehow. In the meantime, however, Druids continue to reign supreme in Diablo IV as overpowered killers in the late game. At least for a little while. We’ll see how things shakeout when Season of the Malignant drops starting on July 20.