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Chain Lightning Sorcerer Endgame Guide

Last Updated: May 28th 2024

Season 4 - LootC-Tier

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The Chain Lightning Sorcerer puts on a dazzling performance. One of of the most visually impressive builds in the game, this Sorcerer paralyzes and destroys monsters with a barrage of electricity. It has insane mobility and great Speedfarming potential, shredding open world Events and Helltides with ease. Its Nightmare Dungeon pushing capability is also solid.

Chain Lightning and Unstable Currents together make up the bulk of this build's damage. In the late game Esadora's Overflowing Cameo clears entire screens of monsters with massive Lightning Nova's. With Lightning Spear flying around and making everything Vulnerable no demon can hope to escape your wrath.

While this Shock Damage powerhouse may not be quite as effective in the endgame when compared to its Leveling Counterpart, it boasts an incredibly fun and satisfying playstyle. Once you acquire Esadora's Overflowing Cameo and a couple of Legendary Aspects the rest is history. Electric Slide your way to victory!

Chain Lightning Sorcerer Endgame Gear

This build guide assumes you have a Level 50 Character and finished the Campaign. Level up with our Chain Lightning Sorcerer Leveling Guide. If you are looking for a different Sorcerer playstyle, check out all of our Sorcerer Guides.

DifficultyAverage
SpeedfarmingStrong
The PitTerrible
BossingTerrible
DefenseAverage

Season 4 - Loot Reborn

In Season 4, the Season Theme revolves around helping out the Iron Wolves. Compared to past themes, this one does not offer any borrowed power as the entire game has been redesigned with new itemization and crafting options, increasing player power substantially across the board. Instead, you can gather reputation similar to the Vampire Bounty Board from Season 2 to unlock rewards that supercharge your leveling journey to 100 with extra items, crafting materials and eventually even a Resplendent Spark to craft an uber unique.

We recommend to follow the seasonal questline until you unlock the reputation system, check which rewards suit you most and then follow your regular leveling path. To learn more, check out our full Season 4 guide for more information.

Skill Tree & Gameplay

Active Skills

  • Chain Lightning is your primary source of both AoE and single target damage.
  • Unstable Currents massively increases your damage output while it is active. Use it whenever you encounter a strong enemy. In the late game when you have lots of Cooldown Reduction, use it whenever.
  • Teleport makes you Unstoppable and is your primary source of both mobility on this build.
  • We don't use Lightning Spear but still pick up its upgrades because our Ultimate can cast them.
  • Ice Armor provides you with a reliable Barrier.
  • Flame Shield makes you Immune for a short period. Use these skills when monsters have the audaicty to try and fight back.
  • Ice Blades is our last active skill that gives us a Cold stack for Tal Rasha's Iridescent Loop.
Chain Lightning Sorcerer Skill Tree
Endgame Chain Lightning Sorcerer Skill Use Demo

Enchantment Slots

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

  • Chain Lightning Enchantment fires an extra Chain Lightning for every three that you cast yourself. Simple but powerful.
  • Teleport Enchantment lets us zip around the battlefield and effortlessly pick up Crackling Energy.
Chain Lightning Sorcerer Enchantments

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

Resource Management

Chain Lightning is the probably the easiest Mana spender to spam infinitely, with only requirement that you hit an enemy. And that's mainly thanks to...

Recharging Aspect

Recharging Aspect is by far the most reliable Mana sustain solution on this build. Simply put, each cast of Chain Lightning takes 35 Mana and gives 15-27 back. With just a little bit of Mana Regeneration on top it's easy to reach positive balance, and that's without even taking into account all the other Mana sources.

Prodigy’s Aspect

This Codex Aspect can help in the early game if you are struggling with Recharging Aspect alone (which will be the case until you find one with 2.5+ roll).

Stats on Gear

In the late game we can even get rid of Recharging Aspect and simply stack enough Mana Per Second and further boost it with Enhanced Ice Armor and Conjuration Mastery. This lets us run one more Offensive Aspect or a Unique.

Paragon Board

Carefully check your Paragon Boards to ensure correct board rotation. Glyphs go from a radius of 3 to 4 when they reach level 15!

← Scroll to Level →

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

Glyphs

We need to level up our Glyphs to activate their Additional Bonus with surrounding nodes. For some Glyphs, we max our bonuses by allocating every relevant node in range, while on others we take the minimum required for the Additional Bonus only. Because Glyphs at level 15 increase their radius, we need to prioritize leveling them by completing Nightmare Dungeons. After that, we prioritize leveling our strongest glyphs to level 21.

Note that there are some Glyph position swaps and a few adjustments to surrounding Paragon nodes once they reach level 15. See the first three steps in the Paragon progression above for details. The setup displayed by default is the final version of the build.

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. Elementalist
  2. Tactician
  3. Destruction
  4. Exploit
  5. Control
  6. Reinforced
  7. Charged

Level 21

  1. Destruction
  2. Control
  3. Exploit
  4. Tactician
  5. Reinforced
  6. Elementalist
  7. Charged

Also check out our dedicated in-depth guides to learn more about Paragon Boards and Glyphs.

Endgame Gear & Skill Progression

When you start diving into the Endgame you don't have all the tools available to achieve the Best in Slot versions. In this section, we guide you through different progression points to give you a smooth transition from our Leveling Guides to the final build version.

Progression Goals

The effectiveness of the Chain Lightning Sorcerer depends 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. Unlock the following Aspects in your Codex of Power:
  2. Find the following Legendary Aspects either as a random drop or by gambling with Obols:
    • Unbroken Tether: Gamble Focuses
    • Conceited: Gamble Focuses
      • Replaces Elementalist's
    • Accelerating: Gamble Focuses
      • Replaces Prodigy’s
    • Everliving: Gamble Pants
    • Mage-Lord's: Gamble Pants
      • Replaces Snowveiled
    • Concentration: Gamble Pants
      • Replaces Disobedience
  3. Acquire the following Unique items either as a random drop or by farming specific Boss drops.
    Note: You cannot gamble Unique items with Obols!
    • Tal Rasha's Iridescent Loop (Varshan)
      • Replaces Accelerating
    • Tibault's Will (Duriel)
      • Replaces Mage-Lord's
    • Esadora's Overflowing Cameo (Zir)
      • Replaces Recharging
  4. If you're lucky enough to obtain the following Uber Uniques, they're useful for the build.
    • Harlequin Crest is your BiS helmet. It provides about as much defense as Everliving Helmet and also some damage on top of that.
    • Ring of Starless Skies can replace Control, giving us more damage and some Mana Cost Reduction.

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

Progression Steps

Starter
Leveling to 100
Endgame & The Pit
Speedfarming

Once you have completed the Leveling Guide, only the Codex of Power Aspects are guaranteed. With this setup you can farm the Legendary Aspects you need for the next progression point.

Gear

Imprint the following Codex of Power Aspects onto your gear:

  • Disobedience (Pants)
  • Snowveiled(Chest or Helmet)
  • Storm Swell (Weapon or Off-Hand)
  • Control (Amulet)
  • Bounding Conduit (Boots)
  • Elementalist's (Gloves)
  • Recharging (Ring #1)
  • Prodigy’s (Ring #2)

Avoid imprinting Aspects on Weapons early on, as they are often replaced.

Starter Gear

Skills

In the early game we play purely Chain Lightning build so we use Greater Chain Lightning upgrade. We remove points from Precision Magic, Static Discharge and Ice Blades and use them to max out Shocking Impact and Potent Warding.

Starter Skill Tree

In this setup, you have access to all Legendary Aspects, and better versions of Codex of Power Aspects on the Starter Build must be found.

Gear

Imprint the following Aspects onto your gear for even more power:

  • Unbroken Tether on Gloves (instead of Elementalist's)
  • Conceited on the Weapon
  • Accelerating on Ring (instead of Prodigy’s)
  • Everliving, Mage-Lord's and Concentration are your three defensive Aspects on Helmet, Chest and Pants.
Early Endgame Gear

In this setup, you have access to all and Uniques and Legendary Aspects imprinted into high Item Power gear, high Critical Strike Chance, and lots of Mana Per Second, unleashing the strongest version of this build. Be prepared to grind to attain this level of power!

Gear

In the final build, we use 3 Unique items:

  • Esadora's Overflowing Cameo
  • Tibault's Will
  • Tal Rasha's Iridescent Loop

Esadora's Overflowing Cameo changes the MO of our build from just spamming Chain Lightning to trying to produce and pick up as much Crackling Energy as possible.

Late Endgame Gear

Gear with Uber Uniques

This build can make use of two Uber Uniques. However, unlike most other builds, this one doesn't like these items all that much.

  • Harlequin Crest is just barely better than a normal Helmet because extra ranks do nothing for Esadora's Overflowing Cameo damage. Still we get a bit more tanky with this helmet and ranks to other skills are nice to have too.
  • Same goes for Ring of Starless Skies. It gives us bigger damage bonus than any Offensive aspect but we're losing some Intelligence, Unstable Currents CDR, and additive damage. On top of that Mana Cost Reduction makes our Chain Lightning Enchantment activate less often so the overall impact of this item is barely positive.
BiS Gear

Skills

We switch to our final skill tree with Precision Magic, Static Discharge and Ice Blades instead Shocking Impact and Potent Warding. We use Destructive Chain Lightning to produce more Crackling Energy and Overflowing Energy to improve our Unstable Currents uptime.

Gameplay

After you get Esadora's Overflowing Cameo your Diablo 4 gets upgraded to Pac-Man. Running around and picking up small white orbs is now of paramount importance (avoiding ghosts is optional, although recommended if they are red).

Late Endgame Skill Tree

The Speedfarming setup often makes you more efficient in farming the Open World, Helltides, Tree of Whispers, regular Dungeons, and low tier Nightmare Dungeons. Our base build is already very fast so you can just use it as is. If the content you're doing is extremely easy, drop Esadora's Overflowing Cameo for an Amulet with Evade CDR temper and use Fireball for extra AoE.

Hardcore Adjustments

Hardcore requires you to prioritize defensive stats and gameplay. Here are some tips to successfully navigate this build through potentially dangerous situations:

  • Prioritize Maximum Life over Intelligence on your Gear.
  • Replace Tibault's Will with Protecting Pants.
  • Replace Exploit with Territorial.
  • Take Skill Points out of Glass Cannon and put them into Align the Elements and Elemental Attunement.
  • Only farm Nightmare Dungeons with monsters that are about your character level until you have near optimal gear.

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

Build Scaling & Stat Priorities

Learn about the important build scaling mechanics and stat weights.

Damage
Defense
  • 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)
  • Intelligence. Intelligence double dips on this build by increasing all our damage by 0.1% per point and then separately scaling the damage of Esadora's Overflowing Cameo. That doesn't make it completely insane but it's slightly higher priority than normal.
  • Offensive Stats. After that, we want all the normal offensive stats: Chain Lightning Ranks, Weapon Damage, Critical Strike Chance, Intelligence, Attack Speed, and all kinds of Additive Damage, in that order of priority.
  • Cooldown Reduction (CDR). As with our damaging skills, our powerful Defensive Skills are not doing much if we cannot cast them. Flame Shield makes you immortal and Ice Armor is Flame Shield with 3x the duration at best, or a protective layer that almost doubles your HP at worst.
  • Barrier. Mostly coming from Ice Armor, it is our main defense outside Nightmare Dungeons. With our high and consistent damage output, the Barrier will instantly refresh as long as it's not broken in one hit.
  • Armor is the major source of Damage Reduction against Physical damage. We naturally get Armor just from having high Item Power gear, and we further boost it with Skulls in Jewelry. It's extremely important to reach the Armor cap of 9,230 as the last few points of Armor get exponentially more effective.
  • Resistances give us damage reduction against Elemental damage. Similar to armor it should be stacked as close to the 70% cap as possible for full effectiveness. As a Sorcerer, we get lots of Resistances from our high Intelligence and our Paragon Boards, letting us almost reach the cap without sacrificing any stats on gear.

Our Damage Explained article explains how to scale your Offense.
Learn all you need to know to scale Defense with our Defense Explained Article.

Stat Priorities

To enable your build to perform optimally, you need to reach certain Stat "Breakpoints". Some examples are reaching 100% to Critically Strike, or 20 Resource per second. Since there are many values of these stats on different pieces of gear, read the checklist below and refer to the recommended Tempered Affixes and Masterwork Crits . Desirable Greater Affixes will always be the top three recommended Affixes.

Damage Scaling

  • 60%+ Critical Strike Chance
  • 25+ Mana Per Second

Defense and Utility

  • Armor Capped 9,230
  • Resistance Capped 70%
  • 17,000+ Life
  • 50%+ Cooldown Reduction
  • Helm: Everliving
    1. Cooldown Reduction
    2. Mana Per Second
    3. Intelligence
    4. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Flame Shield Duration
  • ⚒️CC Duration/Barrier Generation
  • Chest: Concentration
    1. Mana Per Second
    2. Armor
    3. Intelligence
    4. Maximum Life
    5. Ranks to Teleport
  • ⚒️Total Armor
  • ⚒️Chance to Freeze/Immobilize/Slow
  • Gloves: Unbroken Tether
    1. Ranks to Chain Lightning
    2. Critical Strike Chance
    3. Attack Speed
    4. Intelligence
    5. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Close Damage
  • ⚒️Chance to Immobilize/Freeze/Slow
  • Pants: Tibault's Will (prioritize Close DR)
  • Otherwise Look For: Mage-Lord's
    1. Intelligence
    2. Maximum Life
    3. Armor
  • ⚒️Total Armor/Max Life
  • ⚒️CC Duration/Barrier Generation
  • Boots: Bounding Conduit
    1. "Attacks Reduce Evade Cooldown"
    2. Mana Per Second
    3. Intelligence
    4. Movement Speed
    5. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Evade Cooldown Reduction
  • ⚒️Chance to Slow/Immobilize/Freeze
  • Amulet: Esadora's Overflowing Cameo (prioritize CDR)
  • Otherwise Look For: Unbroken Tether
    1. Cooldown Reduction
    2. Ranks to Conjuration Mastery/Glass Cannon
    3. Critical Strike Chance
    4. Attack Speed
  • ⚒️Close Damage
  • ⚒️Unstable Currents CDR
  • Ring 1: Tal Rasha's Iridescent Loop (prioritize CDR)
  • Otherwise Look For: Prodigy’s
    1. Attack Speed
    2. Critical Strike Chance
    3. Intelligence
    4. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Close Damage
  • ⚒️Unstable Currents CDR
  • Ring 2: Control
    1. Attack Speed
    2. Critical Strike Chance
    3. Intelligence
    4. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Close Damage
  • ⚒️Unstable Currents CDR
  • Main Hand: Conceited (Wand)
    1. Intelligence
    2. Maximum Life
    3. Vulnerable Damage
    4. Crit Damage
  • ⚒️Chance to double cast Chain Lightning
  • ⚒️Close Damage
  • Off Hand: Storm Swell
    1. Cooldown Reduction
    2. Critical Strike Chance
    3. Intelligence
    4. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Chance to double cast Chain Lightning
  • ⚒️Close Damage

This build benefits a lot from the following Consumables:

  • Elixirs: Elixir of Advantage II, Elixir of Fortitude II, Elixir of Precision II
  • Incense: Reddamine Buzz, Chorus of War, Spirit Dance

FAQ & Mechanics

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.

Why no Static Surge

Mechanics

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

Attacks Reduce Evade Cooldown

Summary

  • The Chain Lightning Sorcerer is easy and effective build well suited for speedfarming various types of content.
  • Make sure to maintain your Mana! Find gear with Mana Generation/Mana Cost Reduction/Maximum Mana stats and take advantage of Recharging Aspect and Paragon.
  • Unstable Currents massively increases your damage output. It is just one of many reasons why you want to get as much Cooldown Reduction as possible on your gear.
  • This Chain Lightning Sorcerer is a highly mobile destroyer that puts on a beautiful light show! What more can you want?

Credits

Written by Northwar
Original post by DarkHumility

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