The Sorceress is back in the Diablo franchise after being replaced by the Wizard in the previous title, with lots of iconic spells and some new entries too.
Sorceress are usually seen as squishy characters but in this game with the right choices you’ll be able to make a very tanky Sorceress if you wish to do so between a wide array of powerful defensive passives, equipment and Life shields gained through various skills and mechanics, providing multiple layers of defense that makes the Sorceress a very strong Class overall.
Your main resource is called Mana and early on you’ll have to decide which element you’ll want to “main” as hybrid elemental builds are harder to optimize and less effective than single element builds, since the latter can focus on all the passives and mechanics tied to a single element much more efficiently than a Sorceress trying to splitting skill points and paragon boards between two or more elements.
From the Basic skills section Fire Bolt will be your fire starter, Frost Bolt for cold builds and Spark or Arc Lash for lightning builds, moving onto the Core skills we immediately find Frozen Orb from the very first levels available, and it is pretty decent to level up with overall while Fire Ball or Incinerate are good fire skills to start with, Chain Lightning for lightning builds while Charged Bolts got the potential to be a bit better when supported by its relative legendary power making it pierce enemies. All passives from this section of the skill tree are pretty good (Potent Warding, Devastation and Elemental Dominance) while from the Defensive section Flame Shield got his uses to proc Vulnerable status for fire builds and works as a pseudo cheat death, Teleport is not anywhere near to be useful as in Diablo 2 for example early on but the 30% damage reduction enhancement available to it can be very useful to have, Ice Armor is instead an extremely powerful skills for cold Sorceress as it adds 10% of Cold damage dealt to its barrier, when used wisely it can give some serious survivability boost. Frost Nova is the usual crowd control skill for those who love to play that way, while the Glass Cannon passive is the best from this section but it also increases the damage you take so be careful.
Front Conjuration skills the Hydra is very strong also as one point wonder for cold and lightning builds, while from passives Precision Magic, Protection, Mana Shield and Conjuration Mastery are all great passives to have. Align the Elements in particular will be an extremely powerful defensive layer to have against Elites and in PvP. Down to the Mastery skills Blizzard is decent for cold builds, Meteor or Firewall are good for fire builds with Firewall being the most useful between the two, Ball Lightning for lightning builds obviously. Icy Veil is a useful passive from this section for any build using Barriers and Hoarfrost for cold builds while Inner Flames and Devouring Flames will be best suited for fire builds.
Sorceress can choose between one of these Ultimate skills: Deep Freeze which gives immunity for 4 seconds every minute and chilling enemies around you, damaging frozen enemies with increased utilities by choosing one of its enhancements between a shield or reduced non Ultimate cooldowns when using the skill, Inferno is a very strong fire spell which can Immobilize enemies and Unstable Currents is tailored towards lightning builds. Notable passives from this section are Frostbite and Permafrost for cold builds, Icy Touch to increase Vulnerable damage, Immolated Flesh for fire builds in team play, Fiery Surge, Endless Pyre and Pyromania are great for fire builds, while Conduction is good for lightning builds.
Finally you’ll need to choose one Ultimate passive, with Icefall or Shatter being great for cold builds, Vyr’s Mastery for lightning builds and Esu’s Ferocity for fire builds.
Sorceress unique Class specializations are Enchantment Slots. Once you put a skill into a slot, that skill will gain special benefits and you’ll get up to three slots. Hydra is a popular enchanted skill choice since it allows an extra mini-Hydra to spawn where an enemy has been killed by a Hydra for a few seconds.
Best Class specific Codex of Power Aspects:
- Biting Cold, Control, Storm Swell, Prodigy’s are good for a Cold Sorceress (Snowguard’s being more niche)
- Conflagration, Control, Elementalist’s, Three Curses, Incendiary, Seared Flesh, Flamewalker’s are most suited for a Fire Sorceress build
- Control, Splintering Energy, Rolling Thunder, Elementalist’s and Recharging will help a Lightning Sorceress.
Note: All the informations in this guide are taken from Diablo 4 Beta and might be subject to changes for the official release