Best Diablo 4 Sorcerer builds: recommended skills, passives and gear

Each of the five classes in Diablo 4 plays to different strengths. All of them are viable for completing the game, whether you’re going through the story alone or with a group of friends, but it is important to know what role each one serves best and how to optimize them to take advantage of those strengths. The skill trees for each character can be a bit overwhelming, especially if this is your first time venturing into the world of Sanctuary. If the Sorcerer has caught your eye as a fun character to begin with, then a little guidance on how to make a powerful build will go a long way. Here is a general overview of the Sorcerer class, plus some examples of builds you can work toward to melt all that oppose you with powerful magic in Diablo 4.

Sorcerer overview

A sorcerer with a staff and flame in hand.

The Sorcerer is a magic-focused class that focuses on three primary elemental magics: Fire, Ice, and Lightning. They tend to be something of a glass cannon, meaning they deal very high damage, but are not able to take many hits. There are ways to mitigate your more squishy nature, but this isn’t a class you should pick if you want to get right up in your enemies’ faces and beat them down. Sorcerers are best used at range, so they can keep moving and dishing out tons of damage and effects.

Lightning build

A sorcerer shooting lightning at skeletons.

Your Sorcerer build will ultimately come down to which of the three elements you want to focus on. This build will focus on Lightning, which mostly utilizes Lightning skills for crowd control and some Shock effects.

Must-have skills

Arc Lash: This is your basic attack that you will rely on whenever your mana is low. It deals decent damage, plus will stun any enemy you hit for 2 seconds after 10 swings. For a modifier, go with Flickering Arc Lash to get additional movement speed for every enemy you hit so you can perform some hit-and-run tactics while regaining mana. Level this up to the maximum so you have points to spare.

Chain Lightning: Your bread-and-butter mob control spell, Chain Lightning will make most crowds disintegrate without a second thought. It bounces up to five times per cast, dealing good damage to each target. While it does prioritize enemies, if there are fewer than five enemies to hit, beware as it will bounce off of you as well. Since that is likely to happen from time to time, grab the Greater Chain Lightning modifier to make Chain Lightning increase in strength if it does bounce off you.

Teleport: As quick as you may be, if you’re up against enemies that won’t go down in a hit or two, they’re going to catch up to you. Teleport will let you reposition and stay safe, but is also handy when just roaming around the map. Using this skill turns you into a ball of lightning as you zip toward a target location, creating a small damaging blast upon arrival.

Ice Armor: It isn’t Lightning-focused, but Ice Armor is just too good to ignore. Using it creates a shield that absorbs a percentage of your HP, but can be extended by continuing to deal damage.

Unstable Currents: The only downside to this insanely powerful spell is the long cooldown time.

Must-have passives

Devastation: This is a simple increase to your maximum mana, but you’ll never regret having more.

Elemental Dominance: Branching off of Devastation, this passive increases how much damage your skills do as long as you have more than 50 mana.

Glass Cannon: We already said Sorcerers were glass cannons, and this make it official. If you’re confident in your ability to kill fast and avoid damage, the trade-off of dealing and taking more damage it totally worth it.

Gear suggestions

  • For gear, try and equip a one-handed weapon and a Focus instead of a two-handed weapon since Focuses can have cooldown reduction buffs on them.
  • For your primary weapon, look for ones with Lightning-improving buffs or core damage increases.
  • The best helmets will have more cooldown reductions, and buffs to your Int stats.
  • Armor isn’t as useful, so just find one with some good damage reduction.
  • For your gloves, find a pair with the best Chain Lightning ranks to buff that skill up a level.
  • Pants can just be a bit more armor and Int, with Boots simply needing to have movement speed.

Ice build

A sorcerer freezing a group of enemies.

The Sorcerer’s Ice build can take a bit more punishment than the Lightning one, and is also better-suited to single-target damage rather than area of effect.

Must-have skills

Ice Shards: This time around, Ice Shards will be your primary attack. This skill shoots out five shards that deal a percentage of the total damage, but it does more damage when hitting frozen enemies. To make it a bit more useful, throw on the Enhanced Ice Shards to increase the chance that the shards bounce off of enemies, while guaranteeing that they bounce off of frozen enemies.

Frost Nova: Frost Nova is great since it can be used in so many situations. Casting it summons a blast of frost that freezes enemies around you for a few seconds, which obviously synergizes with Ice Shards. If you add in Ice Shards Enhancement, it will do the work for you by summoning Ice Shards to strike frozen enemies.

Ice Armor: We already covered why this skill is great in the prior build, and it is just as good here for the same reasons.

Flame Shield: While you might not think it would pair well with Ice Armor, Flame Shield is well worth investing in. You will surround yourself with fire that burns enemies, but also makes you completely immune while active.

Hydra: When you need to bring out the big guns, call out Hydra. This will summon a hydra with three heads that all spew fire damage at enemies. The damage may not look amazing, but when you consider how long it lasts and how little mana it costs, it is always worth having on the field.

Must-have passives

Since your Sorcerer isn’t going to play drastically differently, the same passives as Ice will be your best picks here as well.

Gear suggestions

In terms of gear, follow the same general advice as above, only now swap out your focus on Lightning buffs for Ice.

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