This still isn’t much of a guide as Diablo IV is still pretty young and I don’t intend to play it past a season or two. The only thing that truly interested me about it is the story, while the aesthetics aren’t exactly to my liking. However, the gameplay is still pretty good, so it interests me enough to make me want to explore different character builds. While this isn’t the Archon Wizard build I enjoyed in Diablo III, I’ve been enjoying clearing dungeons with this build so far. I’d like to share it with everyone else, whether it’s truly awesome or very much suboptimal.
The main question with the sorcerer in Diablo IV is which element is best for what. In Diablo II, I liked cold best due to splash damage and crowd control. However, you couldn’t deny the sheer damage of fire spells, and lightning spells weren’t bad either for clearing dungeons. With how Blizzard tends to design their games, I knew these basic facts were not going to change, even if this game came out over 20 years later.
Perhaps the disease that still plagues me to this day is the idea of being a purist. I went with a pure lightning build during the beta, and it was definitely lacking due to some spells being duds. I then found a build that not only does away with the idea of elemental purity, but also having to learn skills in every single category. What resulted is a build that I know I can clear dungeons with.
Take note that the sorcerer may be nerfed to the ground as of this posting. I’m not that into the game to say for sure if this build is significantly affected by the changes (patch notes).
My Frost Lightning Sorcerer Build
This build is based on this guide, which came out early in the launch.
This is not likely the final form of my sorcerer, but this build has done me quite well so far.
- Primary: Arc Lash
- Secondary: Blizzard
- Slot 1: Teleport
- Slot 2: Ice Armor
- Slot 3: Frost Nova
- Slot 4: Unstable Current
- Enchantment 1: Fireball
- Enchantment 2: Arc Lash
What this build teaches us is that we can skip entire parts of the skill tree entirely. In this case, Core and Conjuration skills are pretty much ignored in favor of spells farther down the tree. The reason for this is the immediate need for effective crowd control that also boosts damage.
Instead of Chain Lightning or Frozen Orb, you use Blizzard, which doesn’t have cooldown; you just need enough mana to cast it. That lets you chill and freeze mobs to increase the damage on your Arc Lash and provide crowd control. You can then put sapphires into your weapons for even greater damage dealt to crowd-controlled enemies.
Frost Lighting Sorcerer Skills
Take note that what I have here is simply what I found to be the most fun build I was able to play with my sorcerer in Diablo IV. I’m not claiming it to be the best out there. In fact, I’m sure the builds that are pervading the meta are much stronger than this. However, I like this one because of how different it seems to be compared to the other builds I’ve seen.
Also, I kinda like that it has a similar theme to the frost lightning in Elden Ring, wielded by the dragonkin who are cursed to be abominations who will never touch the skies after partaking in dragon communion.
Primary: Arc Lash
Perhaps the most damaging of all the basic skills, Arc Lash not only hits hard, but also hits multiple targets at once. The only drawback is that it’s close range, which is the worst range for the sorcerer.
This is your main AoE ability that lets you chill and freeze enemies around you. It boosts the damage of your Arc Lash, as well as providing crowd control. The reason why you want this over the Core or Conjuration skills is that it’s more effective than any of them while being available to cast whenever you have mana.
It doesn’t have a big cooldown, so you can cast Blizzard multiple times to cover a large area, which lets you tackle big mobs more easily. Those lower-level skills like Chain Lightning, Lightning Spear, or even Hydra can’t do that.
Slot 1: Teleport
This is your main source of mobility; your ‘get out of jail free’ card. It’s not really that free since it has a cooldown, but it’s a good way to get out of trouble or even deliberately get into trouble, although it’s better to have it for the former.
With this and the traverse button, you have almost no excuse to get killed due to stupidity. The added lightning damage with the enhancement also helps.
Slot 2: Ice Armor
Since you have Arc Lash as your primary skill, you need to boost your survivability. That’s what Ice Armor is for. Hit this as much as possible while being inundated by multiple enemies. It’s not going to make you invincible, but it makes you a lot tougher to kill.
If you don’t have it on anymore and the skill is on cooldown, watch your health closely. If you start getting hurt badly, that’s when you dodge or teleport away. You then down a potion, kite the mob, and get Ice Armor again as soon as it comes back on.
Slot 3: Frost Nova
The main purpose for Frost Nova is to render enemies vulnerable. When you’re surrounded by a mob and start getting chipped away, you hit this and clear them out as quickly as possible. This skill does have a significant cooldown time, so you shouldn’t just use it as soon as it’s available.
However, you don’t want to be too stingy with it as you may find yourself killed all of a sudden for seemingly no reason and you’ll knock yourself for not hitting it. As soon as you feel you may need it, you might as well hit it. You can always just wait for the cooldown to end before you go deeper into a dungeon.
Slot 4: Unstable Current
This is the best ultimate skill for the sorcerer. You turn this on when you’re up against champions, elites, bosses, or anything with affixes. If you’re really in trouble, hit it immediately.
The same conditions I stated for Frost Nova apply to this. If you need it, don’t hesitate and just hit it. The regret of using it too soon is not as bad as the regret of dying, even if you’re not playing hardcore.
Enchantment 1: Fireball
While this build has you skipping two whole chunks of the skill tree, one point will have to be allocated into Fireball later for enchantment since it’s really good at making dying enemies explode and create a domino effect on minions with that tremendous splash damage.
But other than allocating that one point for this enchantment, you can just skip the rest of the Core and Conjuration skills in this build altogether.
Enchantment 2: Arc Lash
I chose this enchantment since I’m using Arc Lash most of the time. I’ve yet to experiment with other enchantments in this slot, but I find this enchantment to be quite sufficient for my needs.
As I’ve stated in my Diablo IV review, I don’t feel like playing the game anymore after finishing the campaign with my sorcerer. Maybe I’ll play it again in the future, but I’m not sure I’ll feel like playing the other classes or just go back to leveling up my sorcerer.
As of this writing, my sorcerer is at level 55. Yes, I know it’s a bit too early to stop playing. However, at this age, I don’t have time anymore to grind a game for weeks on end out of some sense of obligation. If I don’t feel like I’m being pulled into a game, I just don’t play it anymore.
Have something to say? Do you agree or am I off-base? Did I miss a crucial detail or get something wrong? Please leave whatever reactions, questions, or suggestions you may have in the comment section below.