Ball Lightning Sorcerer Endgame Build Guide

Last Updated: December 6th 2023

Season 2 - Blood

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Welcome to the Ball Lightning Sorcerer guide! This build uses Gravitational Aspect to make many shiny Balls of Lightning go round and round. The build has good single target damage and decent AoE coverage and it can evaporate every enemy in the game. The main downsides of this build are its melee range, lack of burst damage, and the unfortunate interaction with Waller and Suppressor Elites (Ball Lightnings disappear).

Ball Lightning Sorcerer doesn't produce very impressive damage numbers; you will never see a million on your screen. However, the sheer amount of the damage numbers more than compensates for that and, at times, it gets so ridiculous that you have to go and disable them in settings. As a wise man once said: « Fear not the man who does 10 million damage per hit, fear the man who does 100,000 damage thousand times per second. »

Ball Lightning Sorcerer runs the usual repertoire of Defensive Skills, which keep you very safe and tanky until you delve deep into Nightmare Dungeons. There, you need to switch to a tankier push setup, which will carry you all the way to tier 100.

This guide will teach you all you need to know to fill your entire screen with yellow numbers. Your almighty cloud of damage numbers will blot out absolutely everything and make the game lag, instilling fear in friends and foes alike! Let's dive into it!

Ball Lightning Sorcerer Endgame Setup

This build guide assumes you have a Level 50 Character and finished the Campaign. You also need a Gravitational Aspect to get started. If you are looking for a different playstyle, check out all of our Sorcerer Guides.

Very Mobile
Decently Tanky

Good Single Target DPS
Balls Go Through Walls

Unique Dependent
High Gear Requirements
Extremely Mana Hungry
❌ Needs 5 Seconds to Get Max DPS

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!

How it works

  • 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.

With this in mind, let's look at the top 5 best Vampiric Powers and how they impact this build:

Best-in-Slot Vampiric Powers

  1. Ravenous (Minor) - Simply provides unholy amounts Attack Speed for free. Great for any non-channeling build.
  2. Anticipation (Minor) - Reduces the cooldown of Unstable Currents by 20%, which is our most important cooldown.
  3. Metamorphosis (Major) - applies Vampiric Curse and gives Unstoppable, which gives us damage bonus and Mana via Tibault's Will. Warning: it's best to leave this power at level 1 to proc the Mana restoration effect more often.
  4. Prey on the Weak (Minor) - In combination with Metamorphosis, this makes everything Vulnerable and provides a damage bonus with 100% uptime.
  5. Infection (Minor) - Provides a small (~5%) damage boost and deals Poison damage, giving us one more stack on Tal Rasha's Iridescent Loop.
Sanguine Circle

Alternative Vampiric Powers

  1. Domination (Minor) - used instead of Infection before we get Tal Rasha's Iridescent Loop.
  2. Accursed Touch (Major) - a different way to apply Vampiric Curse.
  3. Hectic (Minor) - some more Cooldown Reduction in the early game when we have to use Arc Lash.

Skill Tree

Active Skills

  • Ball Lightning is our main damage skill which also produces tons of Crackling Energy via Wizard's Ball Lightning.
  • Unstable Currents gives us a big damage buff when active.
  • Teleport is our mobility skill, which also serves as a CC break and can pull and Stun enemies with Raiment of the Infinite.
  • Ice Blades are used give us a Cold stack of Tal Rasha's Iridescent Loop or to activate Protection.
  • Ice Armor gives us a huge Barrier and a bit of Mana regen.
  • Flame Shield provides even more defense, as well as some healing.
  • We put one point into Chain Lightning to use its Enchantment.
  • Fire Bolt is just there to unlock the rest of the Skill Tree.

Passive Skills

Apart from the usual damage and damage reduction passives, we pick up Invigorating Conduit to help with Mana. Conjuration Mastery is activated when our Unstable Currents cast Lightning Spear.

Final Skill Tree
Nightmare Dungeon 55 Build Showcase

Enchantment Slots

Sorcerers can choose two skills to put into Enchantment Slots, where they provide powerful passive bonuses. Ball Lightning Sorcerer uses the following Enchantments:

  • Ball Lightning. With extra stationary Ball Lightnings we get more damage, more Crackling Energy, and more Lucky Hit procs.
  • Chain Lightning gives us lots of Mana via Static Surge and Recharging Aspect.

Before we get good gear with enough Critical Strike Chance we use Fireball in place of Ball Lightning.

Learn more details and how to unlock this class specification in our full Sorcerer Enchantment Slots Guide.

Paragon Board

The last step of progression requires a full respec at level 100 and item power 880+ Jewelry. With it you can gain 4% damage.

← Scroll to Level →

Level the Paragon Board by scrolling. Each step optimizes progression.


Glyphs drop from everything once you hit level 50. You can only find each Glyph once so it doesn't take long until you have them all. After finding them, you need to level up your Glyphs by completing Nightmare Dungeons. At level 15 Glyphs increase their radius, which makes it much easier to activate their Additional Bonus.

Placeholder Glyph

Some Glyphs are only used during leveling because we can't fit our optimal Glyphs into their intended sockets until they reach level 15. Don't level up these Glyphs, because they will be replaced later:

  • Unleash

Glyph Leveling Priorities

For maximum efficiency, follow the order outlined below. First, level your Glyphs to level 15 and then do a second pass to get them all to 21.

Level 15

  1. Adept
  2. Territorial
  3. Destruction
  4. Exploit
  5. Elementalist
  6. Reinforced
  7. Charged

Level 21

  1. Destruction
  2. Adept
  3. Territorial
  4. Exploit
  5. Reinforced
  6. Elementalist
  7. Charged

There are a total of 225 Paragon Points. Starting with level 50 you gain 4 Paragon Points per level, plus 20 from Renown, and 4 from Altars of Lilith.


  • Spam Ball Lightning to create a rotating Ring of Fun™ around yourself.
  • Walk or Teleport into enemies to zap them a million times with Lightning.
  • Against tougher enemies, use Unstable Currents to bump up your damage.
  • When you run out of Mana, walk around to pick up Crackling Energy.
  • Use Ice Armor and Flame Shield as necessary to protect yourself.
  • Cast Ice Blades once at the start of the dungeon to gain Cold stack, or whenever you need a Barrier.

Resource & Cooldown Management

If there's was a competition between Sorcerer skills for who can consume the most Mana, Ball Lightning would take the first place and it wouldn't be even close. Not only does it have the highest Mana cost at 50, but it also attacks faster than any other spell and its Enhanced Ball Lightning upgrade forces us to stack even more Attack Speed. Luckily there are several tools at our disposal to help us tackle this monstrous Mana problem.

Chain Lightning

We use two effects that give us Mana from Chain Lightning: Static Surge and Recharging Aspect. Since we are a Ball Lightning build, we don't want to spend time manually casting Chain Lightning and this is where Chain Lightning Enchantment and Unstable Currents come to rescue.

Keep in mind that these automatically cast Chain Lightnings go in the direction your character is facing, and if they don't hit an enemy, you get no bounces and no Mana.

Prodigy’s Aspect

This Aspect give us a lot of Mana and it works at full effectiveness, regardless of how many enemies (if any) we are currently fighting. Four out of six our active skills have a Cooldown, so there are plenty of opportunities to activate it.

  • Always start by casting a Ball Lightning or two before using your other skills, so that the Mana is not wasted
  • Don't use your Cooldowns all at once for the same reason

Prodigy’s Aspect is available in the Codex of Power, but you can also find a much more powerful version of it randomly. Important: This Aspect is incredibly rare, so if you find a well rolled one, save it until you have a good item (Ancestral Ring with at least 3 out of 4 optimal stats). It's not uncommon to get all the way to level 100 without ever seeing this Aspect.

Invigorating Conduit

This passive is our backup source of Mana. Theoretically, it provides enough Mana to infinitely spam Ball Lightning all on its own, but in practice there's one problem. Crackling Energy needs to be picked up, meaning you need to waste time running after it. For that reason we never want this passive to be our main Mana source and instead use it just to help us quickly replenish Mana after a fight or as an emergency.

Tibault's Will

This is basically a bigger, badder version of Prodigy’s Aspect. Requirement to activate it seems a lot harsher at a first glance but half of our cooldown skills (Teleport and Flame Shield) make us Unstoppable, and in Season of Blood we also have Metamorphosis-enhanced Evade.

Stats on Gear

And finally we come to the real way of solving all our Mana problems: just find good gear. It's often easier said than done, but nonetheless, this is what we have to do. There are 8 rolls in total we are looking for:

  • 3x Cooldown Reduction (Helmet, Amulet, Focus)
  • 2x Mana Cost Reduction (Amulet, Focus)
  • 3x Resource Generation (Ancestral Rings and Focus)

With how Mana-hungry this build is, we want all 8 of these rolls, no room for compromise. While it can somewhat function even if you have 1-2 rolls missing, less Mana means more time spent running after Crackling Energy, which means less time spent attacking. Prioritize these stats in the following order:

  1. Cooldown Reduction
  2. Mana Cost Reduction on Amulet
  3. Resource Generation
  4. Mana Cost Reduction

You need to get at least 5-6 of these rolls (including 3x CDR, 1+ Lucky Hit, and Mana Cost on Amulet) and Tibault's Will to drop Prodigy’s Aspect.

Lucky Hit Chance and Lucky Hit Chance to Regain Resource rolls can also be helpful in the early game but generally they don't perform well unless you're fighting very tanky enemies who stay alive for 5+ seconds.

Endgame Gear & Skill Progression

When you start diving into the Endgame, you don't have all the tools available to achieve the final build version. Let us guide you through different progression points to give you a smooth transition from our Leveling Guides to the final build version.

Progression Goals

Many of your Skill choices depend on what Legendary Aspects and Unique items are available to you. While we can guarantee, that everyone has access to the same Codex of Power Aspects, the progression might be different for everyone!

  1. Minimum Requirements (Legendary Aspects & Unique items)
    • Gravitational Aspect
      Put your first copy on your Amulet or Gloves as they are generally less likely to be replaced than Weapons.
  2. Unlock the following Aspects in your Codex of Power:
  3. Find the following Legendary Aspects by farming in Dungeons, Nightmare Dungeons, Helltides, through the Tree of Whispers, or gambling with Obols:
    • Conceited: Gamble Focuses
  4. Find the following Unique items by farming in Dungeons, Nightmare Dungeons, Helltides.
    Note: You cannot gamble Unique items with Obols!
    • Raiment of the Infinite
    • Flickerstep
    • Esu's Heirloom
    • Tibault's Will
    • Godslayer Crown
    • Tal Rasha's Iridescent Loop

Learn more details and how to farm Legendary Aspects and Uniques in our General Farming Guide.

Progression Setups

Early Endgame
Late Endgame

Once you have completed the leveling guide, only the Codex of Power Aspects are guaranteed. With this setup you can farm the Legendary Aspects and Unique items you need for the next progression point.


  • Gravitational goes on the Amulet for extra damage.
  • Prodigy’s and Recharging are Resource Aspects and can only be placed on Rings.
  • Put Control and Storm Swell on your Gloves and one of your Weapons.
  • Ghostwalker can only be imprinted on Boots.
  • Put Disobedience and Unwavering on Chest and Helmet, and Might on the Pants.

At this point resources are scarce, so only upgrade items that have Mana Cost Reduction or Cooldown Reduction rolls on them.

Starter Gear

Skill Tree

We keep Arc Lash on our skill bar instead of Frost Nova, so that we can still attack when we run out of Mana. We also use Potent Warding to help with resistances before we can get enough from Paragon.

Enchantment Slots

Since we lack Crit Chance to make Ball Lightning Enchantment work, we use Fireball instead.

Starter Skill Tree

Build Scaling & Stat Priorities

The answer to many questions can be found in the following section.

Build Scaling

Learn all you need to know about how to scale this build in the endgame.

  • Cooldown Reduction (CDR). This is the most important stat for any Sorcerer build. What good are your skills if you can't use them because they are on cooldown? In purely offensive terms CDR gives us the following:
    • More Unstable Currents uptime (about 2x damage)
    • More uptime on Barrier from Ice Armor or Protection activating Conceited and Storm Swell(1.62x damage buff)
  • Mana. We continue to chase our philosophy of being able to use skills = good. To spam Ball Lightning with our high attack speed, we need lots of stats. Mana Cost Reduction, Resource Generation, you want to get as much as possible of both.
  • Attack Speed. Attack Speed gives us more DPS by letting us cast Ball Lightning faster. On top of that it also increases the tick rate of Ball Lightning via Enhanced Ball Lightning.
  • Offensive Stats. After that, we want all the normal offensive stats: Ball Lightning Ranks, Weapon Damage, Critical Strike Chance, Intelligence, and all kinds of Additive Damage, in that order of priority.

Stat Priorities & Gear Options

There are many stats and status effects that generate on gear, but many are not important for your build. Some stats may block others from rolling or only appear on certain gear slots. See below for a general breakdown as well as a per slot priority list in the list.

Put in the following Gems into your gear:

  • Helmet / Body Armor / Pants: Royal Ruby
  • Weapon / Off-Hand: Royal Emerald
  • Jewelry: Royal Skulls

This build benefits a lot from the following Consumables:

  • Elixirs: Heady Assault Elixir, Heady Precision Elixir, Iron Skin Elixir
  • Incense: Song of the Mountain

Refer to the table below to see the best rolls for every slot ranked in order of importance:

Weaponone of:
Storm Swell
Weapon Type: Dagger
1. High Damage Per Second
2. Intelligence
3. All Stats
4. Damage to Close Enemies
5. Mastery Skill Damage
6. Critical Strike Damage
Off-Handone of:
Storm Swell
1. Cooldown Reduction
2. High Damage Per Second
3. Resource Generation
4. Mana Cost Reduction
5. Critical Strike Chance
6. Lucky Hit: Chance to Regain Resource
(Best in Slot)
Godslayer Crown1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Maximum Life
3. Crowd Control Duration
4. Damage
Disobedience1. Cooldown Reduction
2. % Total Armor
3. Maximum Life
4. Maximum Mana
5. Intelligence
(Best in Slot)
Raiment of the Infinite1. Damage to Close Enemies
2. Damage to Stunned Enemies
3. Intelligence
4. Ranks to Glass Cannon
Unwavering1. % Total Armor
2. Damage Reduction against Close Enemies
3. Damage Reduction against Distant Enemies
4.1 Damage Reduction
4.2 Maximum Life
6. Damage Reduction against Burning Enemies
Glovesone of:
Storm Swell
1. Attack Speed
2. Critical Strike Chance
3. Intelligence
4. Critical Strike Chance against Injured Enemies
5. Lucky Hit: Chance to Regain Resource
(Best in Slot)
Tibault's Will1. Damage Reduction against Close Enemies
2. Maximum Resource
3. Damage
4. Potion Capacity
Snowveiled1. Ranks to Ball Lightning
2. % Total Armor
3. Damage Reduction against Close Enemies
4. Damage Reduction against Distant Enemies
5. Damage Reduction
6. Maximum Life
(Best in Slot)
Flickerstep1. Movement Speed
2. Damage Reduction against Close Enemies
3. All Stats
4. Ultimate Damage
Ghostwalker1. Mana Cost Reduction
2. Implicit: Attacks Reduce Evade's Cooldown
3. Implicit: +Max Evade Charges
4. Movement Speed
5. Ranks to Teleport
6. Ranks to Frost Nova
7. Intelligence
1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Mana Cost Reduction
3. Ranks to Mastery Skills
4. Movement Speed
5. Ranks to Conjuration Mastery
6. Ranks Elemental Dominance
7. Ranks to Glass Cannon
6. Ranks to Defensive Skills
Ring 1
(Best in Slot)
Tal Rasha's Iridescent Loop1. High Damage roll
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Resource Generation
4. Non-Physical Damage
5. Lucky Hit Chance
Ring 1
1. Resource Generation
2. Critical Strike Chance
3. Maximum Life
4. Damage to Close Enemies
5. Maximum Mana
Ring 2 Recharging1. Resource Generation
2. Critical Strike Chance
3. Maximum Life
4. Damage to Close Enemies
5. Maximum Mana

Hardcore Adjustments

Hardcore requires you to build into more defenses. While this build is tanky enough to be played in hardcore as-is, here's some adjustments you could make it even tankier (go through the list top to bottom and stop when you feel safe enough):

  • Replace Ball Lightning Enchantment with Flame Shield.
  • Replace Control with Fists of Fate and drop Raiment of the Infinite for Mage-Lord Aspect. Move Static Surge board to the edge and only get the Legendary Node and Socket there, skip the Rare Nodes. Replace Control with Elementalist. Use Ice Blades instead of Frost Nova for Cold damage and more Barriers.
  • Drop Tibault's Will and Godslayer Crown to get Unwavering and Protecting. Get Armor rolls on Helmet, Pants, Chest and Amulet to reach armor cap without Aspect of Disobedience. Move Gravitational to the Amulet and put Accelerating in its place to compensate for some of the lost damage.

You can find the exact paragon boards and skill tree for the tanky setup here.

Check out our dedicated in-depth guide to learn more survival tricks in Hardcore.

Level 100 Endgame Variants

You can optimize your build further for certain endgame activities, such as Speedfarming, Nightmare Dungeon Pushing, etc. Let's take a look at the changes you need to make to achieve the best results in them.

Nightmare Dungeon Push
Max DPS/Bosskiller
Abattoir of Zir
AoZ (Raiment)
AoZ (Injured)

The Speedfarming setup makes you more efficient in farming the Open World, Helltide zones, Tree of Whispers, regular Dungeons, and Nightmare Dungeons below Tier 45. Our build is already as fast as it can be so you can just use it as-is.


We use The Oculus to get nearly infinite uses of Metamorphosis without the "random destination" downside.

In Nightmare Dungeons The Oculus + Flickerstep combo doesn't work so use either your normal Weapon or Ghostwalker Boots.

Speedfarming Gear

No Changes

There are no changes to Skills, Enchantment Slots, Glyphs, Paragon Boards, or Gameplay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Once a guide is released, many players have questions on why and how we are approaching certain choices. In this section you can find the answers to the questions that have been asked the most.

Is Ball Lightning the best Sorcerer build right now?

Why is Ball Lightning suddenly so strong?

Will Ball Lightning be nerfed?

Why don't you use Fists of Fate?


Learn all you need to know about how to scale this build in the endgame.

Ball Lightning

Video Guide

Hungry for more Guides?


The Ball Lightning Sorcerer is a powerful and fun to play build. It's not the strongest build, it's hard to get gear for it, and it can be very frustrating to play in tight spaces. However, all of that is more than compensated by shiny balls going in circles and producing literally thousands of damage numbers. The balls are good for your soul, and that's what really matters in the end!


Written by Northwar
Reviewed by Chewingnom

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