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Diablo > Diablo 4May 30, 2023 12:10 pm CT

How to get started with the Sorcerer in Diablo 4

The Sorcerer class in Diablo 4 is a spellcaster specialized in lightning, fire, and frost magic, usually flung at enemies from a distance. You may want to play this class if the fantasy of mages, wizards, and the like appeals to you, or if you enjoy controlling the battlefield with spells that seek out enemies, slow them down, or unleash massive AOE damage. Sorcerers can dish out a lot of damage, but the price to pay for all of that offensive potential is that you’re not exactly the most durable class out there — so you’ll have to avoid taking too many enemy attacks by smartly positioning yourself and keeping the demons at bay. At the end of the day, you’re a glass cannon, and the Sorcerer has to keep that in mind… while burning their enemies to a crisp from a safe distance.

If that sounds like the class for you, then read on to find out how to get started with your own Sorcerer or Sorceress in Diablo 4, and navigate those early levels as effectively as possible.

Early talents and skills for Sorcerer

Sorcerers and Sorceresses use mana as their primary resource, which regenerates automatically but can also be generated by your Basic skills — the first ones you’ll learn, right at the top of the skill tree. We recommend picking Frost Bolt at first, even if you don’t intend to go Frost full-time later. Its chilling effect makes it so that enemies will take longer to reach you, or even die before they do so.

But Spark or Fire Bolt might work well too if you’re adamant about going Lightning or Fire. Arc Lash is the only Basic skill we wouldn’t recommend — it’s simply clunkier to use than the others, and might get you in sticky situations more often than you’d like.

At level 3, you should invest a point into the Enhanced version of the Basic skill you chose, since that’s going to yield more to you than simply investing a second point into the skill itself for now.

Once you reach level 4, you’ll have access to the next talent node, where we absolutely recommend picking Chain Lightning as your first Core skill. For this super-early stage of the game, that spell is extremely powerful. It’s much easier to use than any of the other options, often allowing you to clear entire rooms of monsters before you even see them! Greater Chain Lightning at level 6 is very good too.

Experiment with skills while you level

You have some freedom with what you want to do with your points as you gain more levels — perhaps even switching to other Basic or Core skills. The early game is absolutely the best point to experiment, since refunding your skill points costs nothing at these early levels.

At level 8, I would strongly recommend that you spend a single point into Teleport. You might never invest any other points into this skill or the skills that further enhance it, but the ability to at least cast Teleport at its basic form is invaluable — we’ll go into that a little more later.

You now have access to your defensive spells, Ice Armor and Flame Shield. Many players like to pick one of these, or even both, since they add a lot of survivability. My opinion, however, is that you might not need them at these low levels — especially if you play on World Tier 1. You should experiment for yourself and decide if you’d rather use up a precious skill slot on your bar on a defensive spell or on another offensive one. You’ll likely need to invest more heavily in defense later in the game, but at low levels the Sorcerer can usually stay focused on damage.

At level 13, you should pick Hydra. That spell is beloved by Sorcerers everywhere because it’s very easy to use while contributing a lot of a damage. You may also consider investing points into the other two Conjuration spells, Lightning Spear and Ice Blades. Personally, I love those spells because they tend to be “fire-and-forget,” allowing you to keep damaging enemies while dodging, evading, and repositioning yourself around the battlefield. But, of course, skill slots are limited, so you can’t get everything you want.

Unlock your first Enchantment slot

At level 15, you’ll get a “white” quest leading you to a small quest chain that will end up enabling the class-specific perk of the Sorcerer class: the Enchantment slots. These slots can be used to turn active spells into passive effects.

Once you complete the quest chain and open up your first slot, we urge you to pick Fireball as your first enchantment. With it, whenever you kill an enemy, it explodes for 50% of the damage of your Fireball to all enemies around it. You can trigger a chain reaction when you’re killing small enemies, and you’ll blast through them. It’s best than any other option, by far.

“But actually I’m a shock Sorcerer, because Chain Lightning helps me clear–”

Fireball is still better.

“But you see, my Frost synergies make it so that whenever I chill enemies, my–”


At level 30, you’ll get a second slot, and then you may consider something else, such as Ice Blades, Frozen Orb, or Flame Shield. But for level 15, just invest at least a point into Fireball and pick it as your Enchantment. It’s that good.

Later talents and general Sorcerer playstyle

As you gain levels and begin fighting stronger enemies, you’ll feel more and more like a glass cannon. Enemies will begin hitting you harder, but your own spell synergies and more powerful talents will let you deal more damage as well. So stay away from things! That’s your main gameplay tip. Move around the battlefield, position yourself so you don’t get surrounded or overwhelmed. Remember to use your Evade button to dodge out of the way.

To that end, the Teleport spell is invaluable. It gives you an extra way to dodge enemy attacks and reposition yourself — and it lets you move faster while exploring, on top of that.

Back to the subject of defensive spells: if you decide not to use up your skill slots on Ice Armor or Flame Shield, you’ll absolutely want to spend a few points into your defensive passive skills instead. Especially if you’re playing on World Tier 2, you might hit a few difficulty spikes once you approach the end of the campaign, and find yourself taking more damage than you’d like. In that case, it’s strongly recommended to put a few points into the Align the Elements, Protection, and Mana Shield passives, which are found on the same level of the tree as your Conjuration skills. Keep that in mind, and whenever you find yourself taking more damage than ideal, remember that those passives exist and you can drop some points into them!

Eventually you’ll reach the skills at the very bottom of the talent tree — your Ultimate at level 25, and your Key Passive at 35. For the Ultimate, I find Deep Freeze to be extremely useful — even if you’re not a Frost Sorcerer. It acts as a defensive cooldown, allowing you to avoid enemy attacks — remember that you can use potions while protected by the Ice Block! — while also dealing massive AOE damage and leaving you with a shield afterwards. I would consider picking this over the other two — but, again, you should experiment and see what you like. It’s hard to deny that Inferno is a very cool-looking spell.

As for the Key Passive, this is what ultimately dictates what kind of Sorcerer you’re trying to become. Read the descriptions of the six Key Passives — two for each element — carefully, and remember to pick skills that synergize with it for maximum efficiency.

The best level gear for a Sorcerer

You should try to find boots with the “+1 Max Evade Charge” affix, which lets you dodge things much more often. Once you do, keep them, and (barring exceptional circumstances) only replace them with other boots that have that affix too! You’ll learn to love to dodge things constantly, and you’ll cherish that ability.

Once you find weapons that have gem slots, add skulls to them, for the “+Life After Kill” effect. It adds up a lot of survivability, especially as you’re clearing weaker enemies.

On the subject of gems, elemental resistance is always good. You should add diamonds to your jewelry (amulet and rings) to add resistance to all elements. If you were to pick a single element to protect yourself against, though, poison is usually the most deadly one, so go with emeralds.

Try to find gear that gives extra levels to skills you’re using (i.e., “+1 Rank of Hydra” if you’re using Hydra), which can provide a big damage boost. You should also try to specialize into an element, using most (or all) spells of the same flavor — and then, find gear that boosts your damage with that element. For instance, if you’re going Fire, you might want “+X% Fire Damage” or “+X% Pyromancy Skill Damage.”

That should cover the early stages of playing a Sorcerer. Hopefully these tips will be of use to you, whether you’re planning to shock, freeze, or burn the demons of Sanctuary to ashes.

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