This Sorcerer build focuses on various Lightning spells starting from Arc Lash and Ball Lightning and eventually using all of them at once thanks to awesome power of Unstable Currents. Unfortunately, your Mana reserves don't allow you to cast Ball Lightning all that often, so you will be using Arc Lash most of the time.
The build is quite strong damage-wise in almost every situation but your main skill, Arc Lash, has a very short range. To stay alive in melee you have a bunch of defensive skills and lots of Crowd Control but since the latter doesn't work against Bosses you have to pay attention and dodge their attacks.
Another problem this build faces is Unstable Currents, or to be more specific, its 70 second cooldown. You have Glinting Arc Lash to help with that, but it will still have huge downtime during leveling and there's nothing you can do about it. Don't pop Unstable Currents on every encounter and instead save it for big Elite packs and Bosses.
Overall this build feels fairly good while leveling as long as you can stomach the melee range. And in the endgame you can continue playing the same build with almost no changes eventually reaching near 100% uptime on Unstable Currents!
Great Mobility ✔
Decently Tanky ✔
Still Works at 0 Mana ✔
Great Single Target Damage ✔
❌ Small AoE
❌ Ultimate Dependent
❌ Extremely Mana Hungry
Season 2 - Season of Blood
Diablo 4 Season 2 introduces a new questline to hunt down the Shadow Vampire forces of Lord Zir across Sanctuary. With Lilith's blood still residing within our bodies, the infliction put upon us is harnessed throughout our leveling, granting access to new Vampiric Powers. Completing the seasonal questline, partaking in the seasonal Blood Harvest event and collecting Potent Blood are the main ways of obtaining and empowering these abilities. Check out the full Season 2 Guide from Chewingnom to learn more!
- There are 22 Vampiric Powers, separated into 2 different types:
- 15 Minor Vampiric Powers - Require 1 to 3 Pacts to be activated.
- 7 Major Vampiric Powers - Require 6 Pacts to be activated.
- There are 3 different types of Pacts:
- Ferocity Pact have a Crown icon.
- Divinity Pacts have a Chalice icon.
- Eternity Pacts have a Skull icon.
- Pacts can roll only on Armor pieces (Helm, Chest Armor, Gloves, Pants, Boots).
- Helms & Boots can have up to 3 Pacts, Pants can have up to 4, Chest & Gloves can have up to 5. This gives you 20 Pacts max!
- You can use Cleansing Acid - All to remove all Pacts from a piece of Armor and place new Standalone Pacts to meet your Powers requirements to activate. Cleansing Acid can be altered at the Alchemists to target 1 of the 3 Pacts only.
- Once you have equipped the right Pact Armor pieces, you can activate Vampiric Powers in the Sanguine Circle through the character screen. Powers require varying amounts of different types of Pacts, pay attention.
- You can use Potent Blood acquired from Blood Seekers to upgrade your Vampiric Powers from Level 1 to Level 3.
- Warning: due to interaction with Tibault's Will, in some builds Metamorphosis is better if it's left on level 1!
Best-in-Slot Vampiric Powers
- Hemomancy (Minor) - Great damage in the early game and also free healing.
- Ravenous (Minor) - Gives tons of Attack Speed that increases our overall DPS and boosts the tick rate of Ball Lightning.
- Hectic (Minor) - Reduces all our cooldowns since we spam Arc Lash all the time.
- Anticipation (Minor) - Reduces the cooldown of our Ultimate.
- Moonrise (Major) - More Attack Speed, Move Speed, and damage, what's not to like?
Getting Started (6 Skill Points)
Being a Basic skill build we get access to our main skill from the very start. At early levels we use Flickering Arc Lash upgrade because Cooldown Reduction doesn't become important until later. We drop a single point into Chain Lightning so that we have something to do with our Mana.
Point 1: Arc Lash
Point 2: Enhanced Arc Lash
Point 3: Chain Lightning
Point 4: Flickering Arc Lash
Points 5-6: Arc Lash
Adding Defensive Skills (5 Skill Points)
After investing 6 skill points we gain access to Defensive skill cluster. Here we instantly pick up Teleport, Ice Armor, and Frost Nova. These are our main utility spells and they will stay with us until the very end. We also fully upgrade Frost Nova to get access to the Vulnerable debuff.
Point 7: Teleport
Point 8: Ice Armor
Point 9: Frost Nova
Point 10: Enhanced Frost Nova
Point 11: Mystical Frost Nova
Ball Lightning and First Enchant (12 Skill Points)
At level 15 you unlock your first Enchantment slot, so we must put a point into Fireball. The Fireball Enchantment is invaluable when it comes to killing large hordes of small enemies, which is something our build can struggle with. After investing 16 Skill Points, we finally unlock Ball Lightning which become our main Mana spender instead of Chain Lightning. Around this time you should go to Hawezar and complete Witchwater to get Prodigy’s Aspect.
Points 12-13: Arc Lash
Points 14-16: Glass Cannon
Point 17: Enhanced Ice Armor, remove Chain Lightning, add Ball Lightning
Point 18: Enhanced Ball Lightning
Points 19-22: Ball Lightning
Point 23: Fireball
Level 15: Enchant Fireball
The Ultimate Skill and Crackling Energy (7 Skill Points)
Finally we get to our Ultimate Skill Unstable Currents. It replaces Fireball on our skill bar. We get Prime Unstable Currents for Attack Speed but ignore Supreme Unstable Currents because we don't care for Crackling Energy damage, it's only used for Mana. The next 5 levels go into Wizard's Ball Lightning and Invigorating Conduit passive. Now we can regain some Mana by picking up Crackling Energy.
Point 24: Unstable Currents
Point 25: Prime Unstable Currents
Point 26: Wizard's Ball Lightning
Point 27: Static Discharge
Points 28-30: Invigorating Conduit
The Key Passive and More Defense (15 Skill Points)
A few levels later you reach the bottom of the Skill Tree and pick up Vyr's Mastery. This passive works perfectly with our build providing both damage and defense. At the same time we bolster our defenses even further by picking up Protection, Mana Shield, Electrocution, and Shimmering Teleport. At level 30 we unlock our second Enchantment Slot and put Chain Lightning in it. Go complete Zenith and imprint Recharging Aspect on your Ring to make these free casts of Chain Lightning restore you some Mana.
Point 31: Align the Elements
Points 32-33: Protection
Point 34: Vyr's Mastery
Point 35: Protection
Point 36: Coursing Currents
Points 37-39: Electrocution
Point 40: Chain Lightning
Point 41: Enhanced Teleport
Point 42: Shimmering Teleport
Point 43-45: Mana Shield
Level 30: Enchant Chain Lightning
Final Passives and Ranks (13 Skill Points)
At this point our build is largely complete so we just pick up useful passives boost our damage and survivability. We also max out Teleport to go faster. Apart from leveling up you can get 10 skill points by completing Renown objectives, so don't forget to do your side quests!
Points 46-49: Teleport
Point 50: Devastation
Points 51-53: Elemental Dominance
Points 54-56: Potent Warding
Points 57-58: Elemental Attunement
Check out our Renown Guide to unlock all your additional rewards efficiently.
Sorcerer Enchantment Slots
The Enchantment Slots allow Sorcerers to select up to two spells and receive powerful passive effects from them. You must have at least one rank in a skill to put it into Enchantment Slot but it doesn't have to be on your skillbar.
Unlocking the Enchantment Slots
Once you hit level 15, you automatically start the "Legacy of the Magi" Priority Quest. Complete it to unlock your first Enchantment Slot. The second Slot unlocks on it's own when you reach level 30.
How the Enchantment Slots Impacts Leveling
Enchantments are extremely important to any Sorcerer build. In fact, the moment you hit level 15, you should drop whatever you were doing and go unlock your Enchantment Slots!
Slot 1 - Enchant Fireball. This effect lets you easily destroy large hordes of small enemies while also dealing heavy damage to any Elites that happen to be caught inside.
Slot 2 - Enchant Chain Lightning. This power gives you some free damage and also restores Mana via Recharging Aspect.
Learn more details in our full Enchantment Slots Guide.
Gear Progression & Global Stat Priorities
Leveling up in Diablo 4 is similar to most other ARPGs and MMOs - we're at the mercy of what drops. For the most part this means replacing Rares with better Rares all the way up to 50. If you're lucky enough to find some Legendaries or Uniques they can provide a significant power boost (discussed in the next sections). Assuming you don't find any of those, let's look at some key stats to look for along the way:
Hint: Press SHIFT over an item to compare it to what you're wearing!
Generally you want to have 1H Weapon + Focus instead of 2H Weapon, mostly because Focus can roll Cooldown Reduction and it's by far the best stat you can have. However, during leveling you won't lose that much CDR, so if you find a high DPS staff feel free to go for it. Always go for higher DPS over weapon's stats during leveling. The useful stats to look out for are:
- Weapon: Close Damage, Basic Skill Damage, Damage vs Crowd Controlled.
- Focus: Cooldown Reduction, Basic Skill Attack Speed, Mana Cost Reduction
Only upgrade the weapons 1 or 2 times at the Blacksmith and socket them with Topazes.
Armor pieces typically grant us Defense and Utility stats, except the Gloves which offer a tidal wave of Offense. Here are the important stats to look for:
- Helm: Cooldown Reduction, Basic Skill Attack Speed
- Armor: Armor, Damage Reduction.
- Gloves: Attack Speed, Critical Strike Chance
- Pants: Armor, Ball Lightning ranks.
- Boots: Movement Speed, Mana Cost Reduction.
Jewelry provides powerful Offensive stats that help us on our leveling journey. Pay close attention to the rolls as higher leveled pieces aren't always better:
- Amulet: Cooldown Reduction, Movement Speed, Mana Cost Reduction.
- Rings: Close Damage, Damage vs Crowd Controlled, Vulnerable Damage.
Do not upgrade Armor or Jewelry while leveling. Socket Armor with Rubies and Jewelry with Skulls.
Codex of Power
The Codex of Power is a collection of Legendary Aspects you can imprint onto Rare or Legendary items at the Occultist. They unlock after completing specific Dungeons located around Sanctuary. For leveling there are a few aspects that can significantly help us if we have the funds to imprint them:
Top Codex Leveling Aspects in Order:
|1. Rapid Aspect||Buried Halls|
|2. Aspect of Control||Sunken Library|
|3. Aspect of Might||Dark Ravine|
Warning: DO NOT imprint your Weapons as they are constantly replaced while leveling. Put Offensive Aspects on your Amulet, Rings, or Gloves instead.
Learn more details in our article covering the Codex of Power.
Helpful Legendary Aspects
If you're lucky enough to find a Legendary while leveling, chances are it'll be an upgrade for you and you should equip it immediately. However they are not all created equal, and some of them can accelerate your journey tremendously. Let's look at the most important aspects you could find and how to take advantage of them:
- Gravitational Aspect the Holy Grail of Ball Lightning build, this aspect makes our main spell 4-5x stronger. If possible, equip the item it came on and use it until the late game when you get a good gloves or amulet to imprint it on (or until you find a replacement).
- The Conceited Aspect gives you a nice damage boost when your Ice Armor is active. If you find this, drop 1 point in Protection early so that you can activate the buff by using your other skills.
- Accelerating Aspect gives you a bunch of Attack Speed when you crit with Charged Bolts.
- The Stable Aspect gives you mini version of Unstable Currents active at all times. This doesn't add that much damage but has an additional benefit of letting you proc Accelerating Offensive Aspect without your Ultimate.
Discover every Sorcerer Legendary Aspect in our Sorcerer Overview.
Leveling Tips and Tricks
Before we end this leveling guide, let's look at some general tips and tricks to remember for all classes and specs!
Complete the Campaign or follow our Leveling Guides. Follow the Campaign if you haven't completed it yet. If you have, use our Alt Leveling Guide and Renown Speedrun Guide to progress your character quickly!
Level Up Your Potion. Many players don't know that you need to farm materials to upgrade your character's potion. Make sure you collect all materials as you explore Sanctuary, especially Gallowvine which is used in many recipes!
Compare your Items... Literally. Press Shift over an item in your inventory to compare it to what you're wearing. This makes it easy to determine what is and isn't an upgrade.
Renown is your Friend. While exploring the different zones, take time to gather Renown along the way. It has long-term benefits for your entire account, including more Skill/Paragon points and Potion charges. Renown is gained by activating Waypoints, finding Altars of Lilith, completing Side Quests/Dungeons and rescuing Strongholds.
Be Careful with Gold. A lot of endgame processes, like extracting and imprinting Legendary Aspects, are extremely expensive for a brand-new character. Don't spend all of your Gold along the way!
Don't Imprint Your Weapon. The most critical piece of gear while leveling up is your weapon, which gets replaced constantly. This makes imprinting a Legendary Aspect on it a waste of resources. Instead, put your best offensive Aspect on your Amulet, which can be used for a long time.
- Whack everything to death with your electric whip.
- Use your Defensive skills to Stun enemies and then swipe with Arc Lash to reduce your Cooldowns.
- Against strong enemies pop Unstable Currents and unleash the Lightning Apocalypse.
- Dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge to stay alive in melee range.
- Unlock your Enchantment Slots ASAP.
- Look out for helpful Legendary Aspects in the Codex of Power.
- Read the Next Steps above to continue your journey.
Written by Northwar
Reviewed by Chewingnom