Diablo 3 – Season 25 Starter Guide

  • Post published:November 25, 2021
  • Post last modified:December 19, 2023
  • Post category:Diablo
  • Reading time:26 mins read

The Lords of Hell – Top 3 classes to begin your next adventure

Introduction

This is my personal list of favorite classes to begin the next season 25 – The Lords of Hell based on the Patch notes (2.7.2) 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 25 Start Date is December 10, 2021. (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 level 1 character.

Soul Shards Theme

As you might know already, the new season features soul shards and several reworked items for different classes.

Basically, these shards can massively improve your toughness, increase your damage output and push your build beyond its limit. According to the leaderboards, all classes will be able to hit solo greater rift 150 within a few weeks even with the underpowered builds (with some exceptions).

Some class sets will shine in mid-season, some are just for a fresh start. So Haedrig’s gift is exactly what is needed to get on your feet as soon as possible. You can Grind for new set pieces and soul shards that randomly drop around Sanctuary, (with a higher chance from bosses) and later painlessly switch to another more popular build and depending on your final goal continue your journey.

Each Soul shard has its own unique stats with different modifiers and can be inserted into the socket. There are 7 shards in total as listed below. 4 shards to use with weapons and 3 of them with helms.

Essence of Anguish Shard – Good choice for Thorns Builds
Remnant of Pain Shard – Adds extra damage to all sources and Stun effect
Dregs of Lies Shard – Most popular utility shard for extra damage output
Stain of Sin Shard – Most visually impressive used in Meta play for support roles
Fragment of Destruction Shard – Another useful shard for support roles in Meta play.
Shard of Hatred Shard – Popular choice for Damage dealer classes
Sliver of Terror Shard – Massively boosts resistances, reduces cooldown and ability costs
This item drops only in S25 and has a similar effect and drop chance lke Ramaladni’s gift

Each of these soul shards can be upgraded to the maximum level tier 3 by using Hellforge Ember. It can be found with rare chance anywhere around Sanctuary just like Ramaladni’s Gift and can be used multiple times on a single shard to maximize its power.

My personal Top list of classes to start S25

In the list below I will explain my choice and describe each class’s pros and cons in Diablo 3 for the latest patch 2.7.2.

This Starter guide list doesn’t include explanations for endgame progression like Greater Rifts, Meta play or Specific Builds for Efficient XP farm.

Please keep in mind that this guide covers only the beginning of season 25. The ranking list is also based on the set performance itself, without an overpowered seasonal theme.

Everything I mention here is my personal opinion and it may not be the same as yours.

Video Guide

Rank 7 – Crusader

Thorns of Invoker Haedrig’s gift

Probably the least preferable class to start this season – Crusader.

There are literally zero changes in the recent patch for crusader sets or legendary items. Basically, it stays on the same spot as before but this time crusaders will receive Thorns of Invoker set.

It is an absolutely incredible set for tanking high-leveled greater rifts and killing solo enemies with your thorns. But that’s the issue here. This set is designed mostly for solo playing and it lacks abilities with area damage that could help you to speed farm rifts or bounties.

While with this set you can use bombardment and steed charge for extra speed and faster clears, it is still not enough to compete with other classes that perform much better in every aspect of the game.

Thorns of invoker also heavily rely on Cooldown reduction and mobs density so the best use for it is in solo greater rifts only. As a side note, making a build around invoker set is relatively easy. All you need is to find Belt of the Trove for bombardment and Boyarsky’s chip to apply more thorns damage. Some late-game items will include captain Crimson’s set, Flail of the Charge with the shield, and traveler’s pledge for standstill damage.
If you really like thorns build, consider switching Invoker to Bombardment Akkhan build later which is way more versatile than this starter set.

Rank 6 – Barbarian

Might of the Earth Haedrig’s gift

on the 6th position, we have a barbarian with the Might of the Earth set.

The leapquake build is quite strong for clearing large amounts of enemies with not much effort however it may require some time to collect all required legendary items to start doing high-tier damage. And the list of these legendary items includes Girdle of giants belt, Blade of the Tribes, Lut socks and Band of might ring which can be acquired early from Kadala or while leveling.

And if you wish to play with a seismic slam ability as the main damage dealer, then you should add 3 more items to that list – Fjord Cutter, Bracers of Destruction, and Fury of the Vanished Peak.
apart from the list, Might of the earth doesn’t provide much mobility in general, While Leap attack is certainly great for skipping enemies and walls, your attentiveness and cooldown reduction are the keys to success.
Despite his strong output damage and great performance in the greater rifts, farming bounties or rifts is not recommended with this set, and searching for all of the items may steal some of your precious time.

if you are planning to begin the next season mainly for zbarb or solo play, consider switching might of the earth to another set, specifically whirlwind for efficient bounty farming, rifts, and greater rift clears.

Rank 5 – Necromancer

Grace of Inarius Haedrig’s gift

After finishing chapter 4, players will receive Grace of Inarius set.

Unfortunately, there are not many great builds for a long term playing Inarius and people usually switch off this set to bones of Rathma, burning carnival, and LoD for the rat-speeds, but thanks to the overpowered soul shards, it might be useful in regular rifts, greater rifts, and possibly bounty runs.

With Steuart’s greaves and bones tornado which comes from the 6-piece bonus, Inarius can easily attack several enemies at once while maintaining high movement speed with the blood rush.

Inarius is also quite tanky and deadly at the same time with the combination of Dayntee’s Binding, Aura of Frailty, Trag’oul’s Fang and Krysbin ring so cursed enemies will stand no chance.

The downside of this build is the number of items you need to find to become strong and not squishy. So if you are really impatient to go torment 16 as soon as possible, then starting fresh with Inarius will be a painful adventure.

But once you collect all the items for Inarius, unless you find another set, it can certainly be good for low and mid farming, especially after upgrading soul shards.

But he is still miles behind from the Rathma set and Legacy of dreams. I’d personally recommend starting necromancer only if you plan to run a DPS or Znec role for rat-speeds straight away for super fast paragon leveling. The initial start with a fresh 70lvl character can be really rough for this class.

By the way, you can also check out my blood nova LoD farming guide here in case you are looking for something different for casual play.

Rank 4 – Witch Doctor

Raiment of the Jade Harvester Haedrig’s gift

With the recent patch notes, Witch Doctors have finally moved to a higher position.

This especially applies to Arachyr set and reworked Mojo Shukrani’s triumph. But Jade harvester itself has not changed much.

It is the same build as we played before, but this time it can also benefit from Shukrani’s triumph with the spirit walk for extremely fast movement speed and damage boost with almost permanent
invisibility for casually running rifts, possibly some bounties and greater rifts.

Additionally, it is relatively easy to complete this set, the hardest piece to find would be Ring of Emptiness with Quetzalcoatl mask.

The downside of this set however is the playstyle. It can be really slow in a group play. As Jade relies on haunt and locust swarm dot damage, you will then need to constantly apply these skills to all new targets and then cast your soul harvest ability to deal the actual damage and it is time-consuming and not efficient for speeds.

Although Wormwood weapon can help you auto-cast Locust swarm, it will break your invisibility faster if used with Shukrani Mojo.

Overall it is a great set for a start. Jade has some decent damage against solo targets like bosses or elites but with no Soul Harvester dagger or Lakumba’s bracers, it can be really hard to get close to the enemy and survive the encounter on higher difficulties.

Rank 3 – Wizard

Firebird’s Finery Haedrig’s gift

The top number 3 class in my list is Wizard with the Firebird set.

Despite many nerfs throughout history Firebird is still pretty viable but there will be no more mirror images.

This is the only set from Haedrig’s gift that has 7 pieces instead of 6 and any of these pieces can even become ancient which can be really beneficial to us.

As a bonus, Firebird’s eye orb has a guaranteed fire element roll which also plays into our hands. Plus Firebird doesn’t require much to perform well.

There are only 3 super important items – Fragment of Destiny for primary skill damage, Orb of infinite Depth for toughness and damage output and Shame of Delsere Belt for insane attack speed and shield regen for more toughness which come from our abilities.

It is an incredible set mainly used for late pushing high-tier greater rifts, after acquiring crimson set, focus and restraint rings.

Firebird can also clear regular rifts but this build is not so suitable because of a limited range of abilities for Explosive blast and Flame Blades. There are certainly better builds and sets for speed farming bounties and rifts than this. I must say that firebird starts to shine in pushing greater rifts, unlocking
new levels and leveling up your legendary gems.

Rank 2 – Monk

Monkey King’s Garb Haedrig’s gift

I have put monks in second place for several reasons. Sunwuko is still pretty viable for all possible activities: bounties, keys, ubers, greater rifts. Yet the most popular choice for all players will definitely be inna’s set which completely annihilates this game, especially with the soul shards.

Despite the fact that Sunwuko has not received any updates, it is still a decent reward straight out of Haedrig’s gift.

Although I must say that building efficient Sunwuko may take too much time and effort because this set needs a lot of different kinds of gear to deal the actual damage with Wave of light skill. For that, you will have to find Tzo Krin spirit stone, Vengeful spirit, Kyoshiro Blade, Pintos Pride, Grand temple Daibo, and
The Crudest boots. And for our mobility, it is essential to find In Geom to remove cooldown on Dashing strike and move for several seconds with no limits.

Sunwuko can also be used with Tempest rush instead, but it has less area of effect damage than wave of light skill, and you will need to find several items to make this work – memento bracers, Won Khim Lau weapon, Balance Daibo, and Mantle of channeling.

There are certainly many possibilities with Sunwuko. It just depends on what you find first. It can be tempest rush, it can be Wave of light pieces or even Lashing tail kick. However, you don’t have to complete
sunwuko build, because once you find all 6 pieces of Inna’s set you can forget about all other sets for monks. Again, it depends on your luck and patience.

So overall, place number 2, because Sunwuko is weaker than Inna and it requires you a lot of time to collect all important legendaries.

Rank 1 – Demon Hunter

The leader of our list is another Dexterity class – Demon Hunter with Shadow’s Mantle set

Probably the strongest set straight out of the pocket for his 2-piece bonus that gives massive damage boost with any daggers you equip.

Moreover, there are only 2 daggers for this class: Lord Greenstone and Karlei’s point which is what we need. They are super easy to find. All you need is to get some materials and roll yellow daggers (page 3 in cube), and in no time you will significantly boost your impale damage.

Another important item for impale skill is Holy point shot. And that’s pretty much it, believe me, or not it should be enough to go to T16 immediately. But in order to survive high difficulties we can use a super nice Elusive ring, Wraps of clarity, Aquilla cuirass since casting impale costs nothing if the target remains alive, and of course Chain of Shadows belt for our mobility.
For the late game, you can use Crimson set, focus and restraint rings or Aughild set. This is up to your preference.

As a side note I must say that while shadow set provides great damage and mobility, it is mostly useful only in greater rifts because the range of impale is limited and doesn’t cover much area. So if you wish to make a perfect build for speed farming bounties and rifts, consider switching to GoD (Gears of Dreadlands) or at least Unhollowed set.

Overall, Demon Hunter takes place number 1, because it is super easy to boost your damage and find important legendaries. Shadow’s Mantle is also a great choice to push high-level greater rifts as early as possible. Plus demon hunters have the best sets for farming all activities, just like Inna and Sunwuko monks.

Class table Performance (personal preference)

Time for some summary. I have provided a table below which shows what classes are most efficient in farming and playing certain activities in season 25. One plus (+) represents the possibility to run 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 s25 capabilities with the soul shards.

ClassSpeedsMeta playSolo Push
Wizard++++++
Monk++++++++
Barbarian+++++++
Witch Doctor++++++++
Demon Hunter++++++++
Necromancer++++++
Crusader+++
This table shows what classes are highly efficient to do certain activities with any sets. More Pluses the better.

Some Conclusions

If you wish to play this season just for the conquests and seasonal rewards, then I totally recommend you to start dex classes like monks or demon hunters as they have many different area damage abilities and strong set bonuses.

This will make the conquests like Divinity, Curses! and The Thrill as easy as pie. The other 2 Conquests are mostly for advanced players which require some time and preparations (Masters of the Universe and Sprinter).

I believe many classes and many players will certainly conquer 150-GRs in solo and group within a few weeks. These souls shards have an insane power boost even for underpowered sets and players can experiment with many different builds and play the way they really want. Even if Blizzard nerfs these soul shards, the meta shift and starter sets will still remain intact.

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 25 Starter Guide article. Have a nice day!