Diablo 3 – Season 31 Starter Guide

  • Post published:March 31, 2024
  • Post last modified:April 9, 2024
  • Post category:Diablo
  • Reading time:67 mins read

The Forbidden Archives – Top 3 classes to begin your next adventure


This is my personal list of favorite classes to begin the next Season 31 – The Forbidden Archives, based on the Patch notes (2.7.7) and Haedrig’s gift rewards. This guide is not intended for the mid-end season and only aims for the fresh day one/level 1 start.

Season 31 Start Date is April 12, 2024. (confirmed post here)

In case you are new to seasonal themes, you can check out my old video here where I show one little trick on how to get free bounty materials to ease your fresh start with a level 1 character.

Revisiting Previous Themes

Season 31 doesn’t introduce anything new, since the support of Diablo 3 has ended. Instead, the developers now use seasonal rotations from the previous seasons. This time it’s going to be related to Kanai’s Cube. As you probably know, this cube allows players to seal 3 legendary powers – one for weapon, armor, and jewelry.

In this theme (from Season 20), players can equip 3 legendary powers without these categorical restrictions. It can be three weapons, three rings or three armor pieces – it doesn’t matter. This certainly opens more room for experiments and some builds can potentially become stronger.

The rest stays the same – Altar of Rites and Portals of Enmity are available at any time and you can play all that straight from level 1.

Video Guide

Rank 7 – Crusader

Diablo 3 Roland starter set

Place number 7 is Crusader with the Roland’s legacy set.

This is probably the least popular set available for crusaders, and for a reason. Despite his massive damage with Shield Bash and Sweep Attack, he can’t keep up against other classes regarding speed and efficiency.

While this set certainly doesn’t require any extra legendaries to make things work, it desperately needs more toughness and mobility. Without these two aspects, Roland stays way behind of many other crusader’s sets and other classes in general.

His Sweeping Attacks can successfully kill large enemies and crowds of enemies thanks to the 6-piece bonus, but he is clumsy, the process of killing stuff is tedious, and he is simply not efficient for farming keys or bounties.

Equipping Crimson set later on may definitely improve your toughness and reduce abilities cooldowns to use Steed Charge more often, but this is really time-consuming and is not worth your effort.

So if you still plan to start your next season as Crusader, consider switching to Akkhan as soon as possible. But keep in mind that you will need at least 56% cooldown reduction to make it work properly.

Rank 6 – Monk

Diablo 3 Thousand Storms starter set

Place number 6 in my list. Monk. Raiment of a Thousand Storms.

This is another set that is probably not worth using at the beginning of the season, but you shouldn’t ignore this set completely if you prefer to play monks.

First of all, you will have no cooldown on Dashing Strike which will allow you to travel fast on long distances even when you have no In-geom early on, but as a trade-off, it will cost you 25 spirit.

Secondly, there is a 6-piece bonus that significantly boosts Dashing Strike damage whenever you cast any primary ability (spirit generator). When you cast Dashing Strike, it will also increase the damage of your primary skills, but only for 6 seconds. So if you want to maximize your damage, you should always pay close attention to your skills and control your Spirit. Ignoring the bonus will basically make this set useless.

Fundamentally, it is the same old gen-monk that was used a long time ago in meta as a boss killer, and it performs the best with a combination of Shenlong Fists. Same as Inna Mystic ally pushing build, but mostly for solo targets. It is also worth mentioning, that Raiment doesn’t boost your toughness whatsoever. For this, You will have to rely on many defensive items like Unity, Spirit Guards, Endless Walk and Lefebvre Shoulders.

Long story short, it is super mobile, but it is squishy, and it is mostly for solo targets. I personally don’t recommend playing on this set for long, and you should search for Sunwuko (Monkey King) or Inna pieces instead. These two sets will gradually improve your overall Nephalem and Greater Rifts efficiency.

Rank 5 – Witch Doctor

Diablo 3 Helltooth starter set

Moving next, we have Witch Doctor – Helltooth Harness.

This starter set heavily relies on the pets you use. There is also a Zombie Charger variation which is valid for pushing, but for most activities, you’ll play with clumsy but deadly pets. It performs quite well in both Rifts, and Greater Rifts, but consider it only as a fun and lazy build to crush your enemies with your Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan. Pets AI lives on its own, so you will have to reposition them from time to time. Toughness is also quite average, but Sacred Harvester and Lakumba bracers can make things easier. As For extra mobility, Shukrani’s Mojo will come in handy.

Generally speaking, Helltooth is a fun build capable of farming Rifts and Greater Rifts, but this set is heavily dependent on your pets. Without them, your Witch Doctor is nobody.

Whenever you cast Wall of Death, your other skills will deal 37,500% increased damage for 15 seconds. To make your pets stronger and your life easier, you will need to find these 3 essential items – Short Man’s Finger for Gargantuan, Ring of Emptiness to amplify pet’s damage, and Mask of Jeram. The rest is up to your preference.

Overall it is quite average, with average mobility and average toughness. You can push medium and top-tier GRs with it, but it requires some tuning and good strategy.

If you prefer to stay idle while your pets deal with the enemies, then this set is for you. And if you wish specifically to push high GRs, then consider trying out Mundunugu or Zunimassa.

Rank 4 – Necromancer

Diablo 3 Rathma starter set

Necormancer. Bones of Rathma.

There are many interesting variations on how to use this set. Depending on your preferences, it can be classic Mages build with Scythe of The Cycle and Circle of Nailuj or plain Army of the Dead with Jesseth set pieces, Fate’s Vow and Funerary Pick.

What’s important to know here is that if you have the right legendaries, it can be incredibly strong early on. It does not require many items to start dealing damage with Skeleton Mages or Army of the Dead. The downside? Necromancers usually lack toughness at first, but once you make your hero strong enough, you won’t need it, because enemies will never reach you. But if you prefer to play less aggressively, then Dayntee’s Binding with any Curse will be more than enough to stay alive. Captain Crimson can also buff your overall damage, and toughness and reduce cooldowns of all skills by 20%.

As for mobility. It is also not a big problem. For that, we have Steaurt boots. It is considerably easy to find, and this buff lasts 10 seconds.

In general, I’d personally recommend playing Mages build for casual rift farming, and in the meantime search for Legacy of Dreams ancient pieces. This legendary gem will also be useful for The Thrill conquest.

This starter set is going to be useful if you plan to actively play in a group, farming rat-speeds, playing as support, or simply farming Rifts.

Rank 3 – Barbarian

Diablo 3 Wrath of the Wastes starter set

Place number 3 is Barbarian. Wrath of the Wastes.

Probably one of the best sets for farming Nephalem rifts, Bounties and mid-range Greater Rifts. This is basically Run & Gun aka. Spin-to-win build where holding just one skill is more than enough to be efficient.

It is not hard to complete this build, but for that, you’d require a few specific items: Bul-Kathos Swords for extra mobility and rage gen, Band of might for 80% damage reduction and Lamentation with Ambos Pride to apply Rend which each whirlwind attack.

And the easiest way to find most of these items is to use the cube and convert mighty belts and one-handed mighty weapons. As for the Band of Might ring, it is quite rare, unless you gamble it from Kadala starting from level 9. Because on higher levels, the drop table will gradually increase.

Another benefit of this set apart from non-stopping Whirlwind, is that you can play high GRs without changing much. But for the best performance, it is recommended to use Istvan blades instead of Bul-Kathos and Mortick’s brace.

Overall, this starter set is well-paced, it is incredibly tanky with the Band of Might, and it is viable for most GRs. This will also come in handy later if you are planning to play in meta, as Zbarb.

Rank 2 – Wizard

Diablo 3 Tal Rasha starter set

Second place is Tal Rasha’s Elements. Wizard. Here are a few reasons why you should pick this starter set.

There are many build variations, like Hydra, Wave of Force, Explosive Blast, or deadly Meteors. You can easily adapt this set to any build, depending on what items you find first, and get to Torment XVI as early as possible. Tal Rasha basically can deal significant damage with falling meteors, and buff your resistances by 100%.

Of course, if we are talking about mid and high-tier Rifts, you would need to pick specific abilities and items for that, but still. There is plenty of room for creativity.

The only disadvantage this set has is toughness. Tal Rasha is squishy against physical damage and some other elements. To improve your survivability, I recommend you to find Halo of Karini and equip it as soon as possible. It is probably the best Wizard’s ring for damage reduction, which can be used across many builds. And of course, don’t forget about Crimson, Aughild sets or Orb of Infinite Depth for additional toughness, but sometimes this may not fit your build.

Another big plus is that Tal Rasha consists of 7 pieces, unlike all other starter sets. This makes it way easier for fresh characters to fully gear up within the first few hours. Because of that, It also opens many rooms for experiments. This set is also viable for top-tier GRs, so there is no need to switch to other sets, like Firebird or Delsere.

Overall, Tal Rasha offers high mobility, build flexibility, 7 set pieces instead of 6, and decent performance in Rifts and Greater Rifts.

Rank 1 – Demon Hunter

Diablo 3 Unhallowed Essence starter set

The final place is Demon Hunter. Unhallowed Essence.

This starter is a very capable and straightforward set for new and veteran players, and for a few reasons.

First, The more Discipline you have, the more mobile you are and the more damage you deal. His mobility skills usually include Vault or Smoke Screen. As for the outcoming damage – Evasive Fire and Multishot will help you to clear wide areas fast.

Secondly, it is super easy to complete the build and go straight to Torment XVI with just two essential items – Dead Man’s Quiver and Yang’s Bow. The First one can be easily found by gambling from Kadala, and the second, if you roll yellows from the Kanai’s Cube.

Additionally, you can make Unhallowed Essence even stronger with 2 pieces of Crimson set, and two rings Restraint and Focus. This set deals tremendous damage early on, and you can push top-tier GRs within the first few hours.

If you want to find something more efficient and click less, then consider switching to Gears of Dreadlands. This is another spin-to-win set which is very convenient for Nephalem Rifts, Bounties, and Greater Rifts. If you aim for the meta, you can always adapt these items to Support DH role, which is still 100% viable in 4-man groups.

Class table Performance (personal preference)

Time for a summary. I have provided a table below which shows what classes are the most efficient in farming and playing certain activities in Season 31. One plus (+) represents the possibility of running a certain activity and up to Three pluses (+++) for strongly capable classes.

This table is just my prediction of certain classes. It is based on their set performance, previous PTR tests, and leaderboards. This table may not reflect the actual S31 capabilities.

ClassSpeedsMeta PlaySolo Push
Witch Doctor++++++
Demon Hunter+++++++++
This table shows what classes are highly efficient in doing certain activities with Starter sets. The more Pluses the better.

Some conclusions

Starting with a Kanai’s Cube theme can drastically boost your character, even while you are still leveling or trying to reach Torment XVI. Once you obtain a full set, then you can easily move to the highest difficulty and try to push your first Greater Rifts.

If your initial plan is to finish the Seasonal Journey (Guardian), then you will find no issues in completing most of the conquests. Divinity (75 GR Solo), On a Good Day (6 gems to lvl 65) and The Thrill (45 GR without set items) can be done simply by playing Greater Rifts. Avarice conquest (50 million gold streak) however would require players some preparations – either to kill enemies with the Maxed Boon of the Hoarder and Gold Find %, Or farm 32 bounty chests on Torment XVI. If you want to beat that conquest fast, I recommend you to visit my video guide. You’ll easily make over 100 million gold with my method.

I hope you liked this article and the information was useful. Please consider supporting me on my YouTube channel where I post different showcase videos from PTR for Diablo 3, as well as Diablo 2, video guides, YouTube shorts with memes for different games and reviews.

Thank you for reading this Season 31 Starter Guide article. Have a nice day!