Which Diablo 3 builds does Blizzard use?

T.J. Hafer at

Curious what builds the creators of Diablo 3 battle the legions of hell with? Our elite surveillance teams have infiltrated the Blizzard offices and dug up the skill combos and strategies used by five of the cooks responsible for the addictive brimstone stew that is Diablo 3.

Wizard build: Zaven Haroutunian, Associate Level Designer

See the build:Blizzard Wizard

"I love aberrant builds. While leveling my Wizard, I ran through most of the game with a melee glass cannon spec. However, I swapped over to a ranged build when I got to Inferno difficulty. The build is still a little strange since it uses no Signature spell, and is focused on doing a lot of knockback. Arcane Orb (Tap the Source) is my primary damage spell, with Hydra (Venom Hydra) as my secondary damage source. In addition, Teleport (Calamity) and Mirror Image (Mirror Mimics) increase the amount of knockback I do to enemies."

"This build chews through my Arcane Power, so I use Energy Armor (Energy Tap) to get an Arcane Power boost. For my passive skills, I take Galvanizing Wand instead, improving my Energy Armor further, and also essentially cutting the AP cost by half. The passive skill Evocation reduces the cooldown on Teleport, Mirror Image and Wave of force, while Illusionist improves both my Teleport and Wave of Force. I’m in the process of assembling the gear needed for this build to really shine, and tweaking the build as needed, but I already have a lot of fun playing this build."

Witch Doctor build: Henry Ho, Senior Software Engineer

See the build:Blizzard Witch Doctor

"I love the Zombie Bears, both for the awesome factor and the crazy amounts of AoE damage it does. The Vision Quest passive, of course, is what makes this build viable. The four perpetual cooldown skills I chose are Soul Harvest, Hex, Fetish Army, and Zombie Dogs. Soul Harvest gives me bonus Intellect (damage) so that my gear can be slightly more defense-based, rather than DPS-based. Hex is great for taking an elite out of the action for short amounts of time. Although Fetish Army and Zombie Dogs are weak in damage and survivability, they prove useful distractions for the enemy mobs, enabling my Zombie Bears to rush all over them."

"Both Soul Harvest and Hex are runed to heal me, as the WD is generally pretty weak on defense. Fetish Army is runed for shorter cooldown, because the original 120 sec cooldown is unnecessarily long (especially compared to my other skills' cooldowns). And Zombie Dogs have Final Gift, a small chance to spawn a health globe when they die. This works because I expect them to spawn and die very often. With my gear totaling +15000 Life per health globe, every globe is essentially a full heal."

Barbarian build: Ken Lamb, Software Engineer

See the build:Blizzard Barbarian

"In my journey to level 60 in Act II Inferno, I have been continuously forced to increase my survivability. That's what this build is all about. The basic game plan for any foe or group of foes is to Leap onto them. This gives me 4 seconds of extra armor (and it is just fun to leap into battle). Next, I Ground Stomp to stun everything within range for 4 more seconds. After that, I bash the biggest baddie near me. Once the stun wears off, I stand and fight. If I take a bunch of hits, Revenge should kick in which lets me regain health and do even more damage. If things start to look bad, I Furious Charge to safety (earning health along the way). Then, I can launch Seismic Slam from a distance while I heal up and regroup."

Monk build: Stephen Wong, Senior Software Engineer

See the build:Blizzard Monk

"This is a tanky Monk build that I use when playing with my glass cannon Demon Hunter and Wizard friends. It’s not really a soloing build, but will help you keep your friends alive as you go through Inferno difficulty. The focus is on control and group survivability. Cyclone Strike: Implosion allows you to pull in huge groups of monsters for allies to attack with AOE skills like Cluster Arrow, Spike Traps, and Meteor."

"Both Breath of Heaven and Blinding Flash can be used in emergencies when your allies find themselves vortexed by a Champion or hooked by the Butcher. Crippling Wave: Concussion combined with the Resolve passive will help group survivability as well. Mantra of Healing: Time of Need will buff group resistances up, but if they’re already pretty high or you’re rolling with a Barbarian that has War Cry: Impunity, you can swap it out for Mantra of Conviction: Overawe to really buff group DPS."

Demon Hunter build: Matthew Ryan, 3D Artist

See the build:Blizzard Demon Hunter

"The Demon Hunter build I’m playing with in Inferno is focused around stun locking larger enemies and bosses. In previous difficulties Grenades with the Stun rune worked fine, but now I have added Elemental Arrow with the Lightning Bolt rune and Rain of Vengeance with the Flying Strike rune. With a good mix of AOE and single target attack options, I peppered in a few utility spells to really round it out."

"Vault really makes the Demon Hunter fun for me, so that’s absolutely on my number one action skill slot. Preparation with the Punishment rune really allows me to continue my Elemental Arrow without having to worry about throwing down Grenades, and mixed with Marked for death my damage output really goes up. Last but not least, my passives focus on upping my crit chance with Sharpshooter and Archery because the Elemental Arrow is dependent upon a crit to stun."