Hydra Lightning Sorcerer Leveling Guide

Welcome to the Diablo 4 Hydra Lightning Sorcerer leveling guide! The Sorcerer is a master of the raw elemental magics across Sanctuary. Raining torrents of ice with Blizzard, burning foes to a cinder with Hydra or playing lightning ping-pong with Chain Lightning. You are the master of ranged destruction, just don't get too head strong and get beat down in melee range!

This leveling guide focuses Arc Lash to deal consistent (and free) AoE damage which is further augmented by Fireball Enchantment. Charged Bolts and Hydra help us in single target situations e.g. boss fights.

Leveling Checklist

Before we jump into the guide, you may be wondering what you should be doing in the Beta to power up. Let's go over the activities in detail that will get you as powerful as possible.

  1. Complete the Act 1 Campaign (the Yellow quests). This will teach you the story and take you around Sanctuary. You should be level 12 by the end of it if you skip every other activity along the way.
  2. Complete the first 3 levels of Renown. Renown is your fame in Diablo 4 that has massive rewards. You can complete the first 3 levels in the Beta since the others are locked by higher difficulties. This means you should be spamming Dungeons, Side Quests, Altars of Lilith and Strongholds. Also don't forget to uncover the entire map and activate every Waypoint!
  3. Kill Ashava, the World Boss. She spawns 9 times during the Server Slam. Here are some critical tips:
    1. Her Circular Wing Swipe Attack is deadly. The best way to avoid it (even for ranged characters) is to get right next to her as she does it. This is telegraphed by her holding her wing up in front of her face right before she spins twice.
    2. She is level 25, so you cannot contribute to the fight if you are under leveled. This world boss only allows 12 people to fight her, so if you show up as a level 10, people will hate you, and you won't be able to earn the Cry of Ashava mount trophy. Don't engage her until you are level 20.
    3. Craft a Poison Resist Elixir before you fight her to make the fight easier!
  4. Go Explore and Have Fun. Explore the world and look for events. Make an alt and try another build. Go back to some of your favorite dungeons and look for more Legendaries. Do whatever you see fit and have fun!

Warning: You can only complete 33/35 Side Quests (29/35 if you're not willing to farm for dropped Side Quest starting items) and 22/23 Dungeons in this Beta. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME TRYING TO GET THEM ALL, BECAUSE YOU CAN'T!

Skill Progression

Getting Started (Levels 2-7, 6 Skill Points)

Since our main damage skill Arc Lash is a Basic Skill we can start putting points into it straight away. Arc Lash deals very good AoE damage and it also gives us 18% Movement Speed for free. We drop one point into Charged Bolts at level 4 just so that we have something to do with our Mana. Charged Bolts deal very high damage if all 5 bolts hit the same enemy so you can use it to burst down Elites and Bosses.

Level 2: Arc Lash

Level 3: Enhanced Arc Lash

Level 4: Charged Bolts

Level 5: Flickering Arc Lash

Levels 6-7: Arc Lash

Unlocking Defensive Skills (Levels 8-12, 5 Skill Points)

At level 8 we gain access to the Desfensive Skills cluster. Here we pickup Teleport, Ice Armor and Frost Nova. Teleport is a great mobility skill that lets us traverse the map faster and is also very useful to quickly reposition in combat. Ice Armor gives a nearly unbreakable Barrier for 6 seconds. Finally, Frost Nova keeps us safe by Freezing all nearby enemies and with Mystical Frost Nova upgrade it also boosts our damage by making them Vulnerable.

Level 8: Teleport

Level 9: Ice Armor

Level 10: Frost Nova

Level 11: Enhanced Frost Nova

Levels 12: Mystical Frost Nova

Adding Hydra and Enchantment (Levels 13-15, 3 Skill Points)

This is where we finally get our second damage skill - Hydra. While its damage is not that impressive, it costs very little Mana and lasts 10 seconds, which makes it very good against Bosses.

At level 15, we unlock the Sorcerer's Enchantment Slots class mechanic. Finish this Priority Quest as soon as possible to get access to them. We put one point into Fireball specifically to put it into the Enchantment Slot. There's no point to have it on your bar because Arc Lash does the same damage and doesn't cost any Mana.

Level 13: Hydra

Level 14: Enhanced Hydra

Level 15: Fireball (Enchant Slot)

Applying Finishing Touches (Levels 16-20 + Renown, 7 Skill Points)

For the last levels we put more ranks into Arc Lash and Glass Cannon passive for more damage and unlock Shimmering Teleport to boost our survivability.

Levels 16-17: Arc Lash

Levels 18-20: Glass Cannon

Renown 1: Enhanced Teleport

Renown 2: Shimmering Teleport

Final Hints

Let us throw a few general hints your way to make life easier in the Beta:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. Renown is your Friend. While exploring, 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.
  4. 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.

Alternative Builds

The build presented above gives the smoothest leveling experience and is overall best for any farming you might want to do after reaching level 25. However, there's still plenty of other builds that can clear all the content just fine without being the best.

Now the good news is that you can fully respec your Skill Tree for just 2,000 Gold, which is basically nothing. You can also use any of these builds from level one but costs you 1-2 extra hours to reach the max level.

Full Fire Sorcerer Build

This build uses Fireball (later replaced by Firewall), Hydra and Inferno to engulf the entire map in the sea of flames. One would think that the denizens of Seven Hells are used to extremely high temperatures, but in practice they make some nice kindling.

Ice Shards Sorcerer Build

This Cold-themed Sorcerer build produces tons of Ice Shards to impale all the monsters. The build is extremely strong once you get it together but it's really dependent on the Enchantment Slot so levels 5-15 can be a struggle. You can also unlock a very useful Aspect of the Piercing Cold in the Dead Man's Dredge if you choose to play this build.

Full Lightning Sorcerer Build

This build uses Chain Lightning for single target damage and the combo of Arc Lash Enchantment and Shocking Impact passive for AoE. It feels very strong when you have Unstable Currents active but the skill's 70 second cooldown with 10 seconds duration is a major obstacle. The build becomes exponentially better as you stack more Cooldown Reduction, Critical Strike Chance and Crowd Control Duration but that can be very hard to do in level 25 capped BETA.

See You in the BETA!

The entire Maxroll team will be blasting all BETA long, so lets team up and purge Sanctuary of evil. Enjoy your first taste of the new chapter in Diablo and we'll see you in game! If you haven't already, head over to our Discord and select the D4 role in #roles to stay up to date with our content development. Sanctuary here we come!

The Maxroll Team