Skip to main content

Diablo 4 Chain Lightning Sorcerer build and best skills

Learn how to make our Chain Lightning Sorcerer build in Diablo 4

Diablo 4 screenshot showing a Sorcerer with shining eyes and a red tattoo of a third eye on their forehead.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Blizzard Entertainment

Want the best Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build? If you've heard about those Sorcerer nerfs in Diablo 4 Season 1, you might be unsure whether it's worth running right now. Thankfully, there are Sorcerer buffs due in the coming weeks that should right any wrongs of Patch 1.1.0, and even now it is performing very well in the race to reach level 100 in Season 1.

If you want to Chain Lightning packs of enemies and turn them to ash, then you're in the right place! In this guide, we break down how to make the best Lightning Sorcerer build in Diablo 4, covering the Skills, Paragon Boards and Glyphs, Enchantments, Aspects, Stats, Gems, and Malignant Hearts that you'll need. It's fully updated to reflect the changes from Season 1, but we'll continue to add any changes from future patches and hotfixes.

For more Diablo 4 Sorcerer builds, take a look at our Diablo 4 Ice Sorcerer build and Diablo 4 Fire Sorcerer build guides.

What is the best class in Diablo 4? Watch this video to find out.Watch on YouTube

Best Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build

Our Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build focuses on using Shock spells to do huge damage, inflict enemies with debuffs, guarantee Critical Strikes, and keep yourself alive with recharging Barriers.

Of course, the main damage dealer in this Lightning Sorcerer build is Chain Lightning, a spell that needs no introduction. Chain Lightning bounces between you and your enemies, and with the Greater Chain Lightning upgrade, it'll deal 10% extra damage each time it bounces off of you. Whether you're battling a big group of enemies or facing off against a big boss, this'll absolutely destroy anything in your path.

Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build skills

Below, you'll find a full list of the skills that you should acquire for our Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build, in order:

Level Skill Cluster
2 Arc Lash level 1 1 (Basic)
3 Enhanced Arc Lash 1 (Basic)
4 Glinting Arc Lash 1 (Basic)
5 Chain Lightning level 1 2 (Core)
6 Enhanced Chain Lightning 2 (Core)
7 Greater Chain Lightning 2 (Core)
8 Chain Lightning level 2 2 (Core)
9 Teleport level 1 3 (Defensive)
10 Enhanced Teleport 3 (Defensive)
11 Shimmering Teleport 3 (Defensive)
12 Ice Armor level 1 3 (Defensive)
13 Enhanced Ice Armor 3 (Defensive)
14 Mystical Ice Armor 3 (Defensive)
15 Fireball level 1 2 (Core)
16 Frost Nova level 1 3 (Defensive)
17 Enhanced Frost Nova 3 (Defensive)
18 Mystical Frost Nova 3 (Defensive)
19 Static Discharge level 1 5 (Mastery)
20 Shocking Impact level 1 5 (Mastery)
21 Shocking Impact level 2 5 (Mastery)
22 Shocking Impact level 3 5 (Mastery)
23 Glass Cannon level 1 3 (Defensive)
24 Glass Cannon level 2 3 (Defensive)
25 Glass Cannon level 3 3 (Defensive)
26 Unstable Currents 6 (Ultimate)
27 Prime Unstable Currents 6 (Ultimate)
28 Devastation level 1 2 (Core)
29 Elemental Dominance level 1 2 (Core)
30 Elemental Dominance level 2 2 (Core)
31 Elemental Dominance level 3 2 (Core)
32 Flame Shield level 1 3 (Defensive)
33 Chain Lightning level 3 2 (Core)
34 Chain Lightning level 4 2 (Core)
35 Chain Lightning level 5 2 (Core)
36 Vyr's Mastery 7 (Key Passive)
37 Align the Elements level 1 4 (Conjuration)
38 Align the Elements level 2 4 (Conjuration)
39 Align the Elements level 3 4 (Conjuration)
40 Protection level 1 4 (Conjuration)
41 Protection level 2 4 (Conjuration)
42 Protection level 3 4 (Conjuration)
43 Coursing Currents level 1 6 (Ultimate)
44 Coursing Currents level 2 6 (Ultimate)
45 Coursing Currents level 3 6 (Ultimate)
46 Conduction level 1 6 (Ultimate)
47 Conduction level 2 6 (Ultimate)
48 Conduction level 3 6 (Ultimate)
49 Electrocution level 1 6 (Ultimate)
Renown point 1 Electrocution level 2 6 (Ultimate)
Renown point 2 Electrocution level 3 6 (Ultimate)
Renown point 3 Convulsions level 1 6 (Ultimate)
Renown point 4 Convulsions level 2 6 (Ultimate)
Renown point 5 Convulsions level 3 6 (Ultimate)
Renown point 6 Elemental Attunement level 1 3 (Defensive)
Renown point 7 Elemental Attunement level 2 3 (Defensive)
Renown point 8 Elemental Attunement level 3 3 (Defensive)
Renown point 9 Arc Lash level 2 1 (Basic)
Renown point 10 Arc Lash level 3 1 (Basic)

Arc Lash

Arc Lash is a basic attack that you can use when out of mana, and it's incredibly powerful as a quick melee attack.

Even better, the base ability allows you to Stun enemies, and the Glinting Arc Lash upgrade then reduces your Cooldowns by 0.15 seconds when you hit a Stunned enemy with Arc Lash.

Chain Lightning

Chain Lightning sends out a bolt of lightning that deals 42% damage and chains between up to 6 nearby enemies and your character. That's incredibly powerful at even the base level, giving you an effective method of clearing enemy mobs, but the real strength comes from Greater Chain Lightning.

Greater Chain Lightning raises the damage of the next hit by 10% each time it bounces off of your character. This can buff Chain Lightning significantly, and when paired with passives such as Elemental Dominance, Glass Cannon, and Vyr's Mastery, you'll find this skill absolutely melts any enemies in your path, including bosses.


Teleport does exactly what you'd expect, allowing you to teleport a short distance so you can quickly reposition in a fight. It also provides Unstoppable, allowing you to break any crowd control effects that are currently inflicted on your character.

That's a useful skill for survivability, of course, but Shimmering Teleport really helps it synergise with this Sorcerer build by granting 30% Damage Reduction for 3 seconds. Since you'll often Teleport towards crowds of enemies so that you can Chain Lightning at closer-range, that Damage Reduction will be important for surviving those incoming hits.

Ice Armor

Ice Armor is your main protection Cooldown ability, granting you a Barrier for 30% of your base Life. However, while it's active, 5% of your damage dealt is added to the Barrier, helping you keep it up by blasting Chain Lightning at those baddies.

Enhanced Ice Armor is a must-have ability, as it also increases your Mana Regeneration by 25% while Ice Armor is active. However, it's Mystical Ice Armor that'll really come in handy for keeping yourself alive, as it makes any damage against Vulnerable enemies add 50% more to Ice Armor's Barrier.

Frost Nova

Frost Nova unleashes a torrent of frost that freezes nearby enemies for 3 seconds. That'll prove crucial for staying alive in the thick of combat, but it also has some handy upgrades that synergise with other abilities.

Enhanced Frost Nova is a simple one, reducing your Cooldown by 1 second for each Frozen enemy you kill up to a max of four seconds per cast.

However, it's Mystical Frost Nova that really shines here, as it makes enemies hit by Frost Nova Vulnerable for 4 seconds (or 6 seconds for bosses) and allows it to synergise with Ice Armor for more defense.

Unstable Currents

Unstable Currents is the ultimate ability for our Lightning Sorcerer, and it's incredibly powerful. When activated, you will cast a random core, conjuration, or mastery Shock skill whenever you cast any Shock skill for the next ten seconds.

That essentially doubles up your firepower, delivering an extra spell each time you cast any of the shock skills in this build. As mentioned above, it's an incredibly powerful skill, but that means it also has a long cooldown of 70 seconds. Hopefully the various ways to reduce your Cooldowns mentioned above should help you use it more often.

If you're not sure how to use these skills effectively, follow the attack pattern below:

  1. Approach a crowd of enemies and use Frost Nova to Freeze them.
  2. Activate Ice Armor after Freezing your enemies.
  3. Cast Chain Lightning until all of the enemies are dead, or switch to Arc Lash to finish them off when you run out of Mana.
  4. Teleport away from the crowd if you are almost dead.
  5. Heal up and repeat.
A close up of a Sorcerer in Diablo 4, with flames lit in each hand.
Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build: Best Paragon Boards and Glyphs

Diablo 4's Paragon system unlocks at level 50, allowing you to spend Paragon Points to earn passive bonuses and effects that can substantially improve your build. Boards grant both a Glyph slot, into which you can insert a Glyph that'll usually buff a certain stat or damage type, and a Legendary node with a more unique effect. For this build, we really want to take advantage of those Glyph slots.

Below, we break down the best Paragon Boards and Glyphs that you should take for this build, mapping out your journey from level 50-100. For a clearer view of how we've spent each and every Paragon Point, check out our Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer page on the Lothrik build calculator.

Starting Board

On the starting board, take the right path up to the Glyph socket, heading through the rare Elementalist node. Then, insert the Destruction Glyph, scoop up any surrounding Dexterity nodes, and then get both the rare nodes nearby. Finally, path up to the Board Attachment Gate at the top.

In total, the Starting Board should use 30 Paragon Points.

Enchantment Master

Rotate the Enchantment Master board so that the Glyph socket is in the lower left and the Legendary node is at the top-right corner. Take the path up to the left and insert the Elementalist Glyph. Then, scoop up at least 40 points of Intelligence, and also grab the rare Elemental Balance node and the surrounding non-physical damage nodes.

Then, dart right from the Glyph socket and grab the rare Ruinous node and any surrounding magic nodes. Then, head back to the Glyph socket and move up to get the rare Elementalist node and any surrounding magic nodes. Continue up, head right to get the rare Suffused Resilience node, and then continue to grab the Legendary node from the corner.

Head through the Board Attachment Gate at the top and attach the Static Surge board.

In total, the Enchantment Master board should use 64 Paragon Points.

Static Surge

Rotate the Static Surge board so that the Legendary node is near the entrance. Then, head up to the left, through the rare Overwhelming node, and grab the Legendary node. Continue up to the Glyph socket and insert the Exploit Glyph, scooping up as many Dexterity nodes that are nearby as possible. Make sure to also grab the damage to Stunned enemies nodes.

Head right from the Glyph socket and through the rare Paralyzing node to reach the Board Attachment Gate, where you should connect the Ceaseless Conduit board.

In total, the Static Surge board should use 51 Paragon Points.

Ceaseless Conduit

Rotate the Ceaseless Conduit board so that the Glyph socket is just above the Board Attachment Gate. Then, start by using a few points to move down and grab the rare Hunter Killer node and any surrounding magic nodes.

Then, head up to the Glyph socket and insert Imbiber. Then, grab as many Willpower nodes as possible from nearby, and then path up to the Board Attachment Gate. You should also use a few points to move down and grab the rare Conduit node and any Lightning damage nodes nearby. Finally, attach the Frigid Fate board.

In total, the Ceaseless Conduit board should use 46 Paragon Points.

Frigid Fate

Rotate the Frigid Fate board so that the Glyph socket is in the center. Then, move directly up, grab the rare Weakness node and any surrounding damage to Vulnerable enemies nodes, and then insert the Enchanter Glyph. Then, move up and get the rare Chilling node, while also scooping up any other Intelligence nodes that are within range.

Finally, use your last few points to move down from the Glyph and head over to get the rare Oppressive node, along with any surrounding magic nodes.

In total, the Frigid Fate board should use 34 Paragon Points.

Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build: Best Enchantments

The Sorcerer class also has access to a unique Enchantment system that allows you to place spells into Enchantment slots on your hotbar. When spells are equipped as an Enchantment, rather than an active skill, they will grant a passive bonus. However, this means that they can no longer be cast as an active skill.

You will get access to a total of two Enchantment slots as a Sorcerer in Diablo 4. Below, we'll list the two best Enchantments that we'd recommend using in our Lightning Sorcerer build:

  • Fireball: When you kill an enemy, they explode in a Fireball for 50% of its damage.
  • Flame Shield: Flame Shield automatically activates when you take fatal damage. Can only happen once every 120 seconds.

Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build: Best Aspects

As you find Legendary Gear or complete Side Dungeons, you will unlock Aspects in your Codex of Power. These are Legendary effects that you can apply onto Gear, granting it the Legendary effect so that you can tweak things to fit your build.

Below, we'll break down the best Aspects for our Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build:

  • Aspect of Overwhelming Currents (random Legendary drop): Unstable Currents has a 10-20% chance to cast an additional Shock skill.
  • Conceited Aspect (random Legendary drop): Deal 15-25% increased damage while you have a Barrier active.
  • Aspect of the Unbroken Tether (random Legendary drop): Chain Lightning has a 25-35% chance to chain 2 additional times.
  • Stable Aspect (random Legendary drop): While Unstable Currents is not active, your Shock skills have a 5-10% chance to trigger a free cast from it.
  • Prodigy's Aspect (Witchwater - Hawezar): Using a Cooldown restores 15-25 Mana.
  • Recharging Aspect (Zenith - Fractured Peaks): Each time Chain Lightning bounces off you, gain 4-6 Mana.

Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build: Best Stats

We aren't quite in a position to break down the best pieces of Unique Gear for the Sorcerer just yet, but targeting specific Attributes should help you know which pieces of Gear to prioritise throughout your journey from level 1 to level 50 and beyond.

When playing as the Lightning Sorcerer, you should look for gear with high Intelligence and Willpower.

Intelligence affects your damage as a Sorcerer, with each Intelligence point offering an extra 0.1% damage. That might seem tiny, but it adds up and can have a significant impact in the late game.

Willpower ties into Mana Generation, with each point giving you an extra 0.1%. Again, it's a meagre amount in the early game, but even slight boosts to your Mana Generation will help you cast Chain Lightning more often.

A Sorcerer uses Lightning spells in a dark dungeon in Diablo 4.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build: Best Gems

Gear in Diablo 4 has Gem sockets. These allow you to insert Gems into your Gear, offering extra bonuses, similar to those offered by Attributes. Gems will have different effects depending on whether they're placed into a weapon or armor.

For the Lightning Sorcerer, we'd recommend using Emeralds in Weapon Gem sockets. When placed in Weapons, Emeralds offer increased Critical Strike damage against Vulnerable enemies. Since we can guarantee Critical Strikes with this build, and easily make enemies Vulnerable using Frost Nova, this gives you an easy way to increase your damage output.

In Armor Gem Sockets, we'd use Rubies to get up to +5% extra Life. We've mentioned that the Sorcerer is a glass cannon class, and of course we use the aptly-named Glass Cannon skill to increase damage dealt and received, making this particular build even more susceptible. Fortunately, the extra Life that you can gain from Rubies will add some much-needed survivability, ensuring that you don't drop in every fight.

Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build: Best Malignant Hearts

Malignant Hearts are the new Seasonal mechanic for the Season of the Malignant. These items offer powerful bonuses when inserted into Infested Sockets on your Rings and Amulets, and some of the more defensive options are essential if you want to push through higher-level content as the Lightning Sorcerer build in Season 1.

Below, we'll list the best Malignant Hearts for the Lightning Sorcerer:

  • Omnipower: Core Skills that launch a projectile consume all of your Mana. For every 45-35 extra Mana consumed, you launch an additional projectile, and the damage is increased by 3.0-5.0%.
  • Prudent Heart: You become Immune for 2-4 seconds after you lose more than 20% Life in a single hit. This effect can only occur once every 110 seconds.
  • Tal'Rasha: For each unique element you deal damage with, you deal 7-12% increased damage for 3-10 seconds.

That wraps up our Diablo 4 Lightning Sorcerer build guide. If you want to try out other classes, make sure to check out our powerful Diablo 4 Barbarian builds, Rogue builds, Necromancer builds, and Druid builds.

Activision Blizzard are currently the subject of a number of legal actions, labour disputes and allegations of workplace harassment. Rock Paper Shotgun will continue to write about these issues, as well as covering Activision Blizzard games as part of our commitment to cover subjects of interest to our readers. The latest news can always be found under our Activision Blizzard tag.

Read this next