Lightning Sorceress Guide

Lightning Sorceress

Introduction

The Lightning/Chain Lightning Sorceress is the most versatile Sorceress build in the game capable of decimating any Hell area while particularly excelling at Baal Running, Uber Key Farming, and Arcane Sanctuary Farming. Fully loaded, the Lightning Sorceress fulfills the end-game fantasies of extremely high mobility, incredible top-end damage, capability of killing nearly all mobs, and both excellent clearing and sniping potential.

Dealing exclusively Lightning Damage with her Primary Skills Lightning and Chain Lightning, the Lightning Sorceress has few Immunity-related issues in Hell with Infinity equipped on her Mercenary. Yet, because most Hell Farming Spots contain Lightning Immunes, this build is highly restricted in its optimal options for pre-Infinity farming. Compared to other Sorceress builds, this build is more versatile and in many cases more efficient in the late-game, however it is a rather poor build choice for an early-game Sorceress without gear.

Ideal Standard Setup
Lightning
Chain Lightning
Static Field
Teleport


This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 75 before transitioning to it. Check out our Sorceress Leveling Guide and our General Leveling Strategies to reach Level 75.

Good Boss Runner ✔
Fast-Paced Playstyle ✔
High Maximum Damage ✔
Farms All Hell Areas In Late-Game ✔

Huge Damage Range
Only 1 Type of Damage
❌ Bad Early-Game Starter
❌ Requires GG Gear For True Potential


Skills

The Lightning Sorceress primarily puts Skill Points into the Lightning Skill Tree.

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Teleport (if no Enigma)
2. Telekinesis
3. Static Field
4. Frozen Armor
5. Warmth
6. Thunder Storm

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Lightning
2. Lightning Mastery
3. Chain Lightning
4. Charged Bolt
5. Nova

Put leftover Skill Points into Warmth past Level 94.

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Damage

Lightning* is your Primary Damage Skill. The Sorceress will produce a long bolt of lightning which travels, pierces, and deals damage to all enemies in a straight line in the direction of your cursor.

Chain Lightning* is your Secondary Damage Skill. The Sorceress will produce a long bolt of lightning which travels in a straight direction until it makes contact with a monster. The bolt will then seek out nearby targets until it reaches the maximum amount of targets it can hit. It can strike any and all targets multiple times, dealing Lightning Damage to all of them.

Static Field* is great to use against bosses and high mob density. Each cast uses Lightning Damage to lower nearby monster health by 25% of their remaining Life with no limit in Normal difficulty, down to a limit of 33% of remaining Life in Nightmare, and down to a limit of 50% in Hell.

Charged Bolt* is primarily used as a Synergy for our Primary and Secondary Damage Skills. There are niche situations where the emitted spread of lightning bolts can be used to slay large numbers of monsters or tanky single targets/Bosses.

Thunder Storm* creates an aura around your Sorceress which, every couple seconds, generates a single target bolt of lightning from the sky striking an enemy nearby.

* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)

Utility

Teleport* is an essential Sorceress Skill (1-Point wonder) used for mobility. Upon activation repositions your Character and Mercenary to or towards your cursor. Can be repeatedly casted to cover long distances.

Telekinesis* allows you to use a Waypoint, enter a Portal (in most cases), or pick up utility items (Potions, Scrolls, or Gold) from a distance.

Frozen Armor* increases your Defense rating and briefly freezes enemies that use melee attacks on you. Doesn't work against ranged attacks. Requires renewal every couple of minutes or so.

Warmth* will provide the Sorceress with passive Mana Regeneration based on its Skill Level.

* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)
* Skills that do NOT utilize either FCR or IAS


Attributes

Strength
In this build we only allocate as many Stat Points to Strength as we need to equip all of our gear. Be mindful of how much Strength your gear needs and how much it provides when equipped. If the gear piece with the highest Strength requirement also provides you with additional Strength, you can use the Strength bug to equip that item. Check out the Mechanics Section below for details.

Vitality
After you put your points into Strength and Dexterity, make sure to check if it is recommended to put Stat Points into Energy. Meet the suggested amount of Energy and put any remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Dexterity
In this build we only allocate as much Dexterity as we need to equip all of our gear. Be mindful of how much Dexterity your gear needs and how much it provides when equipped.





Energy
In this build we don't put any Stat Points into Energy. This build gets enough Mana from gear, buffs, Charms, and Mana Potions.


Miscellaneous

Gear Options

While every Stat in the Desirable Stats column is useful for this build, we highlighted the Priority Stats in Teal, so you can review the recommended Items and more easily identify the Most Important Stats on them.

Hover over any Item in the Item Options to see a pop-out with the full Item description.

Gear Notes: Any Items with specialized or niche uses have a superscript that refer to a Note listed here.
1) Only use Wizardspike and Stormshield for swaps for safe and fast teleporting in a party with Barbarian-granted Battle Orders.
2) Use a Lower Resist Charge Wand on Weapon-Swap to break monster Immunity to Lightning or to lower monster Resistances in general if you do not have Infinity equipped on your Mercenary.

SlotItem OptionsDesirable Stats
WeaponHeart of the Oak Flail
Eschuta's Temper
The Oculus
Crescent Moon
Powered Eldritch Orb of the Magus
Gemmed Crystal Sword Socketed With 6x 5/5 Lightning Rainbow Facets
Tal Rasha's Lidless Eye
Wizardspike
Spirit
+x to All Skills
+x to Lightning Skills [Sorceress Only]
+x to Sorceress Skills

+x% Faster Cast Rate
-x% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+x% to Lightning Skill Damage
+x to Lightning [Sorceress Only]
+x to Attribute
+x Mana
Increased Maximum Mana x%
+x to Mana after each Kill
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Off-HandSpirit
Stormshield
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x% Faster Block Rate
x% Increased Chance of Blocking

+x Life
+x Mana
X Resist +x%
Damage Reduced by x%
Weapon-Swap Call to Arms
Gemmed Crystal Sword Socketed With 6x Ist Runes
Blade of Ali Baba
Lower Resist Charge Wand2
Wizardspike1
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x to Battle Orders
+x to Battle Command

+x Mana
All Resistances +x
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level x Lower Resist [x/x Charges]
Off-Hand Swap Spirit
Ethereal Spirit
Gemmed Monarch Socketed With 4x Ist Runes
Rhyme
Milabrega's Orb
Stormshield1
Moser's Blessed Circle
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x% Faster Block Rate
x% Increased Chance of Blocking
+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
X Resist +x%
Damage Reduced by x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Helmets Griffon's Eye
Shako
Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest
Crown of Ages Socketed with 2x 5/5 Lightning Rainbow Facets
Tarnhelm
Lore
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x% Faster Hit Recovery
-x% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+x% to Lightning Skill Damage

+x Life
+x Mana
X Resist +x%
Damage Reduced by x%
+x to Mana after each Kill
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Body ArmorsEnigma
Chains of Honor
Fortitude
Tal Rasha's Guardianship
Ormus' Robes
Skin of the Vipermagi
Skullder's Ire
Smoke
Stealth
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x% to Lightning Skill Damage
+x to Lightning [Sorceress Only]
+x to Attribute
Increased Maximum Life x%
X Resist +x%
Damage Reduced by x%
Magic Damage Reduced by x
+x to Life after each Kill
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
GlovesChance Guards
Magefist
Trang-Oul's Claws
Frostburn
Rare Gloves
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x to Attribute
Increased Maximum Mana x%
Regenerate Mana x%
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
BeltsArachnid Mesh
Tal Rasha's Fine-Spun Cloth
Verdungo's Hearty Cord
Thundergod's Vigor
Goldwrap Battle Belt
Crafted Belt
Rare Belt
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
+x% to Maximum Lightning Resist
X Resist +x%
+x Lightning Absorb
Damage Reduced by x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
BootsWar Traveler
Aldur's Advance
Sandstorm Trek
Rare Boots
Crafted Boots
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
Increased Maximum Mana x%
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
AmuletsMara's Kaleidoscope
Tal Rasha's Adjudication
Crafted Amulet
Crafted Amulet
Crafted Amulet
Powered Amulet of the Whale
+x to All Skills
+x to Lightning Skills [Sorceress Only]
+x to Sorceress Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
Regenerate Mana x%
X Resist x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
RingsThe Stone of Jordan Ring
Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band
Wisp Projector
Nature's Peace
Nagelring
Dwarf Star
Fortuitous Ring of Fortune
Rare Ring
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

Slain Monsters Rest in Peace
+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
Increased Maximum Mana x%
X Resist x%
Lightning Absorb x%
Fire Absorb x%
Damage Reduced by x
Magic Damage Reduced by x
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
CharmsSparking Grand Charm of Vita
Sparking Grand Charm of Balance
Sparking Grand Charm
Shimmering Small Charm of Good Luck
Shimmering Small Charm of Balance
Shimmering Small Charm of Vita
Serpent's Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm of Vita
Shimmering Small Charm
Resistance Small Charm
+x to Lightning Skills [Sorceress Only]
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x Life

+x Mana
X Resist x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Unique CharmsAnnihilus Small Charm
Sorceress Hellfire Torch
Gheed's Fortune Grand Charm
+x to All Skills
+x to Sorceress Skills
+x to All Attributes
All Resistances +x
+x% to Experience Gained

x% Extra Gold from Monsters
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Reduces all Vendor Prices x%

+x to Light Radius

Farming Spots

The areas below are well suited for this build to farm efficiently. While this build can also farm other areas, we’ve selected these specific areas to make the most use of the build’s strengths. Please take special note of the danger level, clear speed, item types, and Immunities that define these areas.

Anything that has a in the "Starter" column can be farmed with the lower-end gear listed in "Gear Options".
While there are other Farming Spots in the game, some Builds struggle to efficiently farm those Areas. This may be because the Monsters in the Area are Immune to your primary Damage type, or the Build lacks mobility to quickly progress to its objectives.


Act 1:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
The Countess
(Forgotten Tower Level 5)
MediumRunes
Key of Terror
Fire, Cold
The Pit-MediumAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Fire, Lightning, Cold
Andariel
(Catacombs Level 4)
-LowUniques
Sets
Jewelry

Act 2:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
Arcane Sanctuary
(Specters/Super Chests)
MediumRunes
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Jewelry
Physical, Fire, Cold
Summoner
(Arcane Sanctuary)
LowKey of Hate

Act 3:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
Mephisto
(Durance of Hate Level 3)
-MediumUniques
Sets


Act 4:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
Chaos Sanctuary-HighAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Fire, Lightning, Cold
Diablo
(Chaos Sanctuary)
-MediumUniques
Sets
Leveling (Level 97-99)

Act 5:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
Eldritch the Rectifier
(Frigid Highland)
LowGearing
Gold
Leveling
Cold
Shenk the Overseer
(Bloody Foothills)
MediumGearing
Gold
Leveling
Cold
Pindleskin
(Nihlathak's Temple)
HighGearing
Gold
Leveling
Poison
Thresh Socket
(Arreat Plateau)
-LowGearing
Gold
Cold
Drifter Cavern-HighAll item typesFire, Lightning, Cold
Nihlathak
(Halls of Vaught)
-HighKey of Destruction
Leveling
(Level 97-99)
Fire, Lightning, Cold or none
(Depends on his Affixes)
Worldstone Keep / Throne of Destruction-HighAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Physical, Magic, Fire, Lightning, Cold, Poison
(Depends on monster spawns)
Baal / Waves
(Worldstone Chamber /
Throne of Destruction)
-HighUniques
Sets
Max Area Level
Leveling
(Baal for Level 97-99)
Magic, Fire, Cold, Poison
(on Waves)

Mercenary

Your Mercenary can serve an incredibly important role to the overall success of your build. Whether it’s serving as a front line tank, bringing a pivotal Aura to your arsenal, or employing Physical Damage to kill monsters with an Immunity to your skillset.

Act 2 Desert Mercenary
The Act 2 Desert Mercenary can be hired from Greiz. Note: There are no limitations on hiring this Mercenary, meaning that you can hire one at Level 1.
He can be equipped with a Spear or a Polearm, a Body Armor and a Helmet. 
Every Act 2 Mercenary has access to an Aura and uses Jab as his base Attack. The Aura activates once the Mercenary has engaged in combat and remains active between traveling to and from town. The Auras available are based on what difficulty you hire the Mercenary from.

Might Infinity

Infinity, Might
We recommend the Might Aura version as it provides us with a Mercenary that can deal with enemies that are immune to our main damage source. Infinity will provide us with a massive damage boost as it reduces the enemies' Resistances and Defense due to its Conviction Aura. This Aura is also capable of breaking nearly all Lightning Immunes (Immunities Resource).

Gear Progression

Early-GameMid-GameEnd-Game
Insight
(Any Polearm)
Insight
(Any Polearm)
Infinity
(Ethereal Elite Polearm)
Smoke
(Any Body Armor)
Treachery
(Any Body Armor)
Fortitude
(Ethereal Bugged Body Armor, 700++ Base Defense)
Wormskull
(Helmet With Life Leech,
Resistances, and/or Life)
Tal Rasha's Horadric CrestAndariel's Visage
(Preferably Ethereal)


The Mercenary is hard to keep alive until you have the minimum gear recommended in this guide. To help survive various scenarios, remember you can drag Healing Potions onto the portrait, or shift + 1/2/3/4 to directly feed them a Healing Potion from your belt. The Mercenary also gains bonus Resistances from Thawing Potions and Antidote Potions.

If your Mercenary dies in battle, you can revive them from any of the Mercenary NPCs in each Act. This does come with an increasing cost, capping at 50,000 Gold. So keep that in mind and decide if the Mercenary is currently worth the cost.

Playstyle

General:

  • Cast Telekinesis on Waypoints to activate them, on Town Portals to get out of town, and on certain Red Portals to go through them. Getting into the habit of this will allow you to travel a lot quicker through the game. Telekinesis can also be used to open chests and pop other clickables for loot.
  • Before starting your Magic Find/Experience run, cast Frozen Armor and Thunder Storm once each. Make sure to continually refresh these buffs as soon as they expire (approx. every 2-3 minutes).
  • Use Teleport to advance towards your Farming Spot or to jump from Elite Pack to Elite Pack while already inside it. This mobility Skill relies heavily on Faster Cast Rate!
  • Engage enemies with Lightning. Elite monsters are the primary targets for this Skill. Due to Lightning’s high damage range with almost non-existent minimum damage, it might require a few continuous casts to finish off an Elite monster.

For Solo Gameplay:

  • For maximum Solo-farming efficiency, target and kill Elite monsters with Lightning and then immediately proceed to the next Elite monster(s). Don't waste time clearing minions or regular mobs with only 1 Player in the game or /Players1 in Single Player.

For High Density Farming:

  • After killing Elite monsters, repeatedly cast Lightning and/or Chain Lightning to clean up surrounding minions and dense concentrations of regular mobs. Aim in strategic directions to maximize the number of monsters hit.
  • When encountering high mob density with high Life (e.g. Baal Waves, High Player Count + any high density), first cast Static Field 1-3 times at close range, and then finish the mobs off with Lightning and/or Chain Lightning.

For Act Bosses:

  • Weaken Act Bosses (like Baal) down to the 50% Life cap (in Hell) by using Static Field at close range. Proceed to finish the Boss off with Lightning. Alternatively you can choose to “Telestomp” the Boss and spam Charged Bolt on top of them. The latter is the more consistent damage option.

Immunities:

  • For "unbreakable" Lightning Immunes, "Telestomp" them with your Mercenary to kill them with his Jab attack. However, in many cases, it is best to skip these mobs.
  • If a Unique Monster happens to possess both Physical and "unbreakable" Lightning Immunity simultaneously, or is simply highly Resistant to both, always skip said monster.

Late-Game:

  • Start your Magic Find/Experience run by buffing yourself with Battle Command 2 times and afterwards with Battle Orders from Call to Arms. Make sure to continually refresh these buffs as soon as they expire (approx. every 2-3 minutes).
  • Use Teleport to reposition your Mercenary close to the enemies you are aiming for to benefit from reduced Resistances and broken Lightning Immunities from the Conviction Aura provided by his Infinity.

Optimal Loot/Experience Farming Strategies:

  • Baal - None of the monsters in Baal Waves are naturally Lightning Immune. A skillful combination of Static Field, Lightning and Chain Lightning will make short work of Baal and his Waves no matter the Player Count. Her fast Teleport is also incredible for efficient navigation to the Throne of Destruction.
  • Uber Keys - Given her insane Teleport speed and the lack of troublesome Lightning Immunes surrounding Uber Key Bosses, the Lightning Sorceress is also one of the most if not THE most overall effective Uber Key farmer in the game.
  • Arcane Sanctuary with 7-8 Players in Game - The Lightning Sorceress is the ideal Arcane Sanctuary farmer, using Teleport to gather Specters and to rapidly travel between Specter packs, along with quick and accurate "zapping" of them over the solid platforms. Additionally, a Sorceress can rapidly open the Super Chests with Telekinesis.

Breakpoints

For more information on the mechanics involved check out our in-depth Resource: Breakpoints.

All builds rely on specific Breakpoints for effectiveness throughout the game. Meeting Breakpoints for Cast Rate, Hit Recovery, and Block Rate increases the rate of casting spells, recovering from big Damage, and blocks by 1 Frame per Breakpoint.

Faster Cast Rate (FCR)
Faster Cast Rate controls how fast our Character casts Spells. In this build we aim for 117% Faster Cast Rate, a special Breakpoint only used by Lightning and Chain Lightning due to a slightly modified Cast Rate calculation. The 105% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint is sufficient for casting Teleport. Note: Faster Cast Rate only controls the animation speed of the Character, and not any internal or global Cooldowns your spells have.

Cast Rate Breakpoints

Increased Attack Speed (IAS)
We do not target a specific Attack Speed Breakpoint. We do not rely on attacks to deal damage.

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR)
Faster Hit Recovery controls how fast our Character finishes the Hit Recovery animation. In this build we aim for 86% Faster Hit Recovery, which is achieved with the suggested gear and Charms.

Hit Recovery Breakpoints

Faster Block Rate (FBR)
We do not target a specific Block Rate Breakpoint. We do not rely on Chance to Block in this build.

Faster Run Walk (FRW)
There are no Breakpoints for Faster Run / Walk. With the recommended gear you reach 70% Faster Run / Walk.

Hardcore

For all Hardcore gameplay, your primary concern is increasing your Resistances, Damage Reduction, Chance to Block and Maximum Life. This can mean sacrificing overall power level for a more secure playstyle.

The Lightning Sorceress can become Hardcore viable with key changes to the Gear, Stat Point allocation, and Skills. Review the changes below before building this character in Hardcore, as some of these changes differ significantly from the standard version of this build.

Gear Changes:

  • Stormshield instead of Spirit: This is the most important Hardcore change. The % Damage Reduction and Increased Chance of Blocking granted by Stormshield along with its Cold and Lightning Resistances all drastically increase your survivability. If socketed with a Ber Rune, you can easily reach the cap of 50% Damage Reduction in combination with Enigma or Chains of Honor.
  • Magefist instead of Chance Guards: This change compensates for loss of Teleport mobility from dropping Spirit. We can still comfortably achieve the 117% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint on Hardcore with Magefist, 10% Faster Cast Rate Ring(s), or/and Skin of the Vipermagi or an appropriate combination thereof.
  • Thundergod's Vigor (Swap): Swap your Belt out for Thundergod's Vigor when farming Worldstone Keep or "Teleporting" to the Throne of Destruction to avoid getting destroyed by Burning Souls that often spawn there. Loss of Faster Cast Rate from swapping out Arachnid Mesh can be made up with Magefist, 10% Faster Cast Rate Ring(s), or Skin of the Vipermagi.
  • Stacking Resistances: If possible, and when necessary, make sure your Fire/Light/and Cold Resistances ("Res") are stacked beyond their default maximum values of 75 each (175 total Resistances in Hell) to guard against Elite monsters with Conviction Aura. Stacking these Resistances 85 past their 75 default maximum (260 total Resistance) completely negates the Conviction Aura of any enemy. When choosing to stack Resistances, keep in mind the primary damage type(s) of the monsters in the area you want to farm. High X Resist +x% or All Resistances +x granting Grand and Small Charms can shore up your Resistances for this purpose. Chains of Honor and Skin of the Vipermagi are possible Body Armor options for stacking Resistances on this build; Fortitude could also be used with its All Resistances, Faster Cast Rate, and high Defense. Crown of Ages is a solid Helmet option which provides up to All Resistances +30, % Damage Reduction, +1 to All Skills, and Sockets. Resistances provided by Boots or Jewelry also help.
  • Faster Hit Recovery: If possible, aim for at least the 30 or 42% Faster Hit Recovery Breakpoints with Charms and/or Boots to make up for losing Spirit. Faster Hit Recovery is not as important when going for maximum Chance to Block (75%). We mainly rely on the 27% Faster Block Rate Breakpoint attained by Stormshield instead. 

Stat Point Changes:

  • Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear Stormshield using the Strength bug explained in the Mechanics Section below.
  • Allocate enough Stat Points into Dexterity to achieve maximum Chance to Block (75%) while having Stormshield equipped.
  • Allocate all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Skill Point Changes:

  • There are no required Skill Point changes for the Hardcore Lightning Sorceress. Because a Lightning Sorceress will naturally have many + to Skills into the Lightning Skill Tree, putting 1 Skill Point into Energy Shield and putting remaining Skill Points into Telekinesis at a high Skill Level can provide you with a decent Energy Shield which increases your effective Life pool. Energy Shield is especially effective at absorbing high amounts of Physical Damage such as from Undead Stygian Doll death explosions.

    See the "Hardcore" Build Variant below for additional suggestions and visuals.

Build Variants

Solo Magic Find

Setup
The "Solo Magic Find" variant specializes in fast-paced Elite monster sniping with 1 Player in the game or /Players1 in Single Player. For this variant we are looking to greatly increase the Lightning Sorceress' potential for finding rare loot from Elite monsters by exclusively using Magic Find (MF) Charms in her inventory aside from Annihilus, Hellfire Torch, and Gheed's Fortune. We also use 3 Tal Rasha's Set items (Tal Rasha's Adjudication, Tal Rasha's Guardianship, and Tal Rasha's Fine-Spun Cloth) for a solid Magic Find increase while retaining Faster Cast Rate and Resistances. We can boost our MF even further with Rings such as Nagelring or even Fortuitous Ring of Fortune, and an Eschuta's Temper socketed with an Ist Rune as a weapon.

Mercenary
The standard Mercenary for any of the Lightning Sorceress variants uses an Infinity, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills
For this variant, make sure to put 1 Hard Skill Point into Teleport since we are not using Enigma. The rest is the same as the standard Lightning Sorceress.

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Teleport
2. Telekinesis
3. Static Field
4. Frozen Armor
5. Warmth
6. Thunder Storm

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Lightning
2. Lightning Mastery
3. Chain Lightning
4. Charged Bolt
5. Nova

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes
For this variant you have to put more Stat Points into Strength as you are losing a lot from not using Enigma. Allocate enough Strength to wear Spirit. The rest go into Vitality.

High Kill Speed

Skills
This variant is designed to deal as much damage as possible against monsters with high Lightning Resistances or broken Immunity to Lightning. In terms of kill speed, it outperforms the standard setup in most Farming Spots due to the common occurrence of Lightning Immunity/Resistance in Hell Difficulty. However, this variant tends to struggle more with stacking Magic Find and Resistances, and has lower raw damage output against monsters with low Lightning Resistance. Even with High Player Count, Chaos Sanctuary and Worldstone Keep are vaporized and Farming Spots such as the Mausoleum become somewhat viable due to the high -x% to Enemy Lightning Resistance on this variant. Crescent Moon is the core of this setup, providing us with large -x% to Enemy Lightning Resistance. The rest of the gear such as Skin of the Vipermagi helps us maintain our Faster Cast Rate and Elemental Resistances, while providing additional -x% to Enemy Lightning Resistance through 5/5 Lightning Rainbow Facets.

Mercenary
The standard Mercenary for any of the Lightning Sorceress variants uses an Infinity, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills
For this variant, make sure to put 1 Hard Skill Point into Teleport since we are not using Enigma. The rest is the same as the standard Lightning Sorceress.

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Teleport
2. Telekinesis
3. Static Field
4. Frozen Armor
5. Warmth
6. Thunder Storm

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Lightning
2. Lightning Mastery
3. Chain Lightning
4. Charged Bolt
5. Nova

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes
For this variant you have to put more Stat Points into Strength as you are losing a lot from not using Enigma. Allocate enough Strength to wear Spirit. The rest go into Vitality.

Max Mobility

Setup
This variant is all about achieving maximum mobility with 200% Faster Cast Rate while maintaining high DPS. In order to do this, we have to sacrifice items that grant stats like Magic Find, X Resist +x%, + to Skills, and overall survivability. Items such as Ormus' Robes, Skin of the Vipermagi, and Magefist become “must haves” to reach this goal. This variant excels at teleporting to the Throne of Destruction in a party, "Chaos Seal Popping" monsters for loot, and other fast-paced farming that doesn't require Magic Find such as Arcane Sanctuary Specter/Chest farming. Even though both Lightning and Chain Lightning only require 194% FCR to reach their maximum cast speed, maximum Teleport speed only requires 6% more FCR (200% total) and is the main priority for the "Max Mobility" variant.

Mercenary
The standard Mercenary for any of the Lightning Sorceress variants uses an Infinity, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills
For this variant, make sure to put 1 Hard Skill Point into Teleport since we are not using Enigma. The rest is the same as the standard Lightning Sorceress.

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Teleport
2. Telekinesis
3. Static Field
4. Frozen Armor
5. Warmth
6. Thunder Storm

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Lightning
2. Lightning Mastery
3. Chain Lightning
4. Charged Bolt
5. Nova

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes
For this variant you have to put more Stat Points into Strength as you are losing a lot from not using Enigma. Allocate enough Strength to wear Spirit. The rest go into Vitality.

Hardcore

Setup
For the "Hardcore" mode variant, we aim for 50% Damage Reduction, maximum Chance to Block (75%), and stacked Fire/Light/Cold Resistances if possible to guard against taking extreme amounts of Physical and Elemental Damage while attacking or casting Teleport. For detailed information about the "Hardcore" Lightning Sorceress variant gear options/changes, consult the "Hardcore" section above. In addition to the gear changes recommended in the "Hardcore" section we also swap War Traveler in favor of Tri-Resistance Boots for easier Resistance stacking. All recommended Hardcore changes are visually displayed in the planner to the right.

Mercenary
The standard Mercenary for any of the Lightning Sorceress variants uses an Infinity, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor. For this variant you can choose to switch to the Holy Freeze Mercenary for additional Crowd Control and thus safety.

Skills
The "Hardcore" variant has no required Skill Point changes from the standard Lightning Sorceress. However, putting 1 Skill Point into Energy Shield and allocating all spare points into Telekinesis at a high Character Level can provide you with an Energy Shield that is effective at mitigating damage by using Mana instead of Life. This is especially the case in regards to enemies that deal large amounts of Physical Damage such as from Undead Stygian Doll death explosions.

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes
Only allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear all of your gear including your lower Strength requirement Ethereal Spirit on swap. Then allocate enough points into Dexterity to achieve maximum Chance to Block (75%). The number of Dexterity Stat Points required for this is based on your Shield and Character Level. Finally put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality for as large of a Life pool as possible.

Standard

Setup
This is the "Standard" Best in Slot (BiS) Lightning Sorceress featured in the beginning of the guide. It is the balanced "jack-of-all-trades" version of the Lightning Sorceress, capable of performing the most tasks well. This variant is the point of comparison for all other variants. Balancing solid Damage with Magic Find, Defensive Stats, and mobility, it is also the ideal setup for farming Arcane Sanctuary, Worldstone Keep/Throne of Destruction, and Baal in most cases.

Mercenary
The "Standard" Lightning Sorceress Mercenary uses an Infinity, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills
The "Standard" Lightning Sorceress primarily puts Skill Points into the Lightning Skill Tree.

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Telekinesis
2. Static Field
3. Frozen Armor
4. Warmth
5. Thunder Storm

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Lightning
2. Lightning Mastery
3. Chain Lightning
4. Charged Bolt
5. Nova

Put leftover Skill Points into Warmth past Level 94.

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes
For the "Standard" Lightning Sorceress, only allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear all of your gear. The rest go into Vitality.


Video Guide

Video Guide by DarkHumility

Mechanics

Strength / Dexterity Bug

  • The Strength or Dexterity Bug refers to a state where an item "holds itself".
  • This means that you wouldn't reach the minimum requirements of the item without the added Strength and/or Dexterity of the item itself.
  • You have to follow the following steps to achieve this (Example: Stormshield):
    • Get to 126 Strength with Attributes and gear.
    • Gain 30 Strength from other sources like Jewelry or Charms to meet the requirement for Stormshield.
    • Equip Stormshield and remove the items you used to meet the requirements. It "holds itself" now.

Teleport

  • Teleport instantly moves you to a selected square on the visible screen in which you can stand. The game tries to to place you within a small radius around your cursor even if it would be impeded normally.
  • Teleport is not obstructed by walls or other impediments but can fail if your cursor is not completely passed those impediments when cast. Your Mercenary teleports with you.
  • You can “extend” the visible screen by opening UI-windows like the Inventory or the Character screen. Continuously cast Teleport and drag your mouse to the edge of your screen.
  • The Mana cost of Teleport decreases with additional Skill Levels down to 1 Mana per cast. With just a single Skill Point into Teleport and + to All/Lightning Skills Gear this can easily be achieved on this build.
  • You can use “ESC” to open the menu in single player to pause the game after a Teleport to determine if you are safe.
  • Teleport casting speed is affected by the Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint that you achieve with your gear.

Lightning

  • Lightning is best cast with shift + left click as you use Teleport on right click for quick snipes and skill use transitions.
  • Lightning's damage is boosted significantly by maxing out Lightning Mastery in addition to Lightning's synergies and Lightning itself.
  • Lightning pierces through monsters it strikes to deal damage to all monsters along the full length of its path. Line em' up and aim well! It also has a fairly generous width hit box.
  • Lightning, along with its sister skill below, uses special Faster Cast Rate (FCR) Breakpoints. Unlike Teleport and most Sorceress skills which require 105% FCR and 200% FCR respectively in the end-game, Lightning requires 117% FCR and 194% FCR respectively for faster cast speed.
  • With enormous maximum damage potential and extremely low/almost non-existent minimum damage, this skill often needs to be spammed if rolling low damage (bad RNG) but can just as often one-shot your target(s).
  • Lightning exclusively deals Lightning Damage to all targets along its path.
  • Damage from this skill benefits enormously from -x% to Enemy Lightning Resistance Gear, the Lower Resist Curse, and, especially, Conviction Aura.

Chain Lightning

  • Chain Lightning is best cast with right click as you as swap between using Teleport on the same button and Lightning on left click
  • Chain Lightning's damage is boosted significantly by maxing out Lightning Mastery in addition to Chain Lightning's synergies and Chain Lightning itself.
  • Chain Lightning arcs to additional nearby monsters after reaching its initial target up to a maximum number of monsters based on the Skill's Level dealing exclusively Lightning Damage to all of them - the same amount as the initial target. A single Chain Lightning arc/use can backtrack to targets including the initial one especially if there are only a few nearby targets.
  • Chain Lightning, along with its sister skill above, uses special Faster Cast Rate (FCR) Breakpoints. Unlike Teleport and most Sorceress skills which require 105% FCR and 200% FCR respectively in the end-game, Chain Lightning requires 117% FCR and 194% FCR respectively for faster cast speed.
  • With high maximum damage potential and extremely low/almost non-existent minimum damage, this skill often needs to be spammed if rolling low damage (bad RNG) but can just as often one-shot your targets.
  • Damage from this skill benefits enormously from -x% to Enemy Lightning Resistance Gear, the Lower Resist Curse, and, especially, Conviction Aura.

Static Field

  • Static Field range scales with each Skill Point; however, this ability is primarily a 1-Point wonder on this build especially in the late game with + to Skills gear.
  • In the Nightmare and Hell difficulty you can't reduce a monsters' Life past certain thresholds. For Nightmare this threshold is at 33%, in Hell it is at 50%. You can get a little past this threshold if your enemy is at negative Lightning Resistances.
  • In Normal difficulty you can bring a monster down to "1 Life". Static Field can't deal the final blow on a monster.
  • Static Field works on any monster you encounter that is not Lightning Immune, including all Act bosses.
  • Static Field reduces the current (remaining) Life of a monster by 25%. The Lightning Resistances of a monster will reduce the effectiveness.
  • Damage calculation: Monster Life = Current Life - ((Current Life * 0.75) * ((100-Lightning Resistance) / 100))

Charged Bolt

  • Charged Bolt is a cast damage Skill that applies consistent Lightning Damage per bolt to any targets the bolts encounter. The bolts do not penetrate (pass through) monsters as long as they hit. The number of bolts scales up to 24 based on the Skill's Level.
  • Charged Bolts spread out in a cone in front of your Sorceress and can "shotgun" single targets in close proximity (directly in front) applying up to every bolt's worth of damage per cast.
  • This Skill is a Sorceresses' most powerful ability in the very beginning of the game. It can also be used end-game by a Lightning Sorceress to "shotgun" Bosses and Elite monsters by "Telestomping" on top of them with Teleport and spamming this ability for effective, consistent Lightning Damage.

Thunder Storm

  • Thunder Storm is a cast activation offensive buff that while active creates an aura effect under your character and strikes a random nearby monster with a single bolt of lightning every couple seconds. Like Frozen Armor and other buffs, must be recast every few minutes or so. Duration after initial cast increases with Level.
  • Every bolt does pure Lightning Damage and has a much tighter damage range than Lightning or Chain Lightning.
  • With only 1 Skill Point allocated into this after all Lightning synergies and Lightning Mastery have already been maxed out, maxed Lightning Mastery and lots of + to Skills Gear is enough for "TS" to provide a significant source of intermittent single target damage.
  • Thunder Storm, like any damage skill, will put monsters it strikes into Hit Recovery if it does at least 1/12th of their Life in damage. This mini-stun can be annoying, however, while trying to line up Specters for Lightning in Arcane Sanctuary, and thus Thunder Storm is not recommended for use while Arcane Sanctuary farming.

Telekinesis

  • Telekinesis is a 1-Point wonder utility Skill that is primarily used for activating Waypoints, popping clickables, and picking up certain items from afar. It also knocks back enemies.
  • Telekinesis can be used to pick up Scrolls, Potions, Gold, and other consumable items from a distance. It cannot pick up standard equipment like Weapons, Chests or even Socketed Items like Runes, Jewels, or Gems.
  • In addition to being able to activate Waypoints and use them from afar, it can also be used to enter certain Red Portals such as the Mephisto Red Portal to Pandemonium Fortress under specific conditions. It can also be used to enter TP's in town from afar including ones of your own.
  • Telekinesis can be activated on clickables like chests and corpses from afar to pop them for potential loot. Using Telekinesis for this purpose and all other above purposes will usually be the most efficient method given you can use this skill at a distance.
  • Telekinesis uses standard Sorceress Faster Cast Rate Breakpoints and can be spammed faster upon reaching higher Breakpoints.
  • Spamming this skill on a monster can be useful for "perma-stunning" a monster against a wall; this technique can be useful for allowing your Mercenary to kill a strong Lightning Immune monster.
  • Telekinesis CAN be used to deal Lightning Damage against monsters; however the damage it does is insignificant even if maxed and can only be applied to a single target at a time.

Frozen Armor

  • Frozen Armor is a cast activation buff which applies a Defense buff that scales based on Level and the Defense stat on your Gear. Frozen Armor also temporarily freezes enemies upon successful contact with a melee attack (not ranged). Like other buffs, it must be recast every few minutes or so. Both duration of this buff after cast and freeze length upon contact with a melee ability increase with Level and with Skill Points into Synergies.
  • Since this Skill deals no damage unlike its Synergies Shiver Armor and Chilling Armor, allocating just a single Skill Point into Frozen Armor early on will provide incredible survivability/quality of life while locked in combat or while using Teleport, especially with + to Skills gear later on. This skill is truly a 1-Point wonder! However, at very high Character Levels, you can justify putting more points into this as opposed to Warmth for higher Defense rating.

Energy Shield

  • Energy Shield is a cast activation defensive buff that causes incoming damage to impact your Mana pool instead of your Life pool by a percentage based on the Skill's Level. Like other buffs, it must be recast every so often; however this skill has a very long duration especially with + to Skills gear. The duration of this buff increases with the Skill's Level. As long as this buff is active, a golden sphere will remain present above the Sorceress' head.
  • Points into Energy Shield's Synergy, Telekinesis, increase the effectiveness of this skill by reducing the amount of damage taken to your Mana pool per point of Damage (i.e. with 0 Hard Points into Telekinesis you lose 2 Mana per 1 Point of Damage. At 20 Hard Points into Telekinesis you lose .75 Mana per 1 Point of Damage).
  • Upon reaching 0 Mana this Skill will no longer be active and you will begin to take the full measure of any incoming damage directly to your Life pool. Thus, Energy Shield is more effective the higher your Mana pool is. Also, if upon reaching 0 Mana you then take any additional damage your Energy Shield will disappear and will need to be recast to again be active.
  • This Skill can be very hard on your Mana pool making it wise to keep at least 2 full rows of Mana Potions in your belt while this skill is active.
  • Energy Shield is most effective against guarding your Life from Physical Damage, but drains your Mana quickly versus Elemental Damage. With the Mana Burn stat on Elite Packs or any monster Mana Drain added into the mix, Energy Shield loses effectiveness entirely (becomes useless) and can even contribute to your downfall as you are unable to use Teleport without any Mana, which is why Maxing your Energy Stat and relying purely on high Level, high Mana percentage Energy Shield can be especially risky.

Summary

  • Interweaving Teleport with Lightning and Chain Lightning at high speeds is key. Selectively use these Skills as well as Static Field to take charge of the situation and eliminate targets.
  • With Lightning Immunity being most easily broken by Infinity Conviction Aura and Sorceresses being able to comfortably stack Magic Find on their gear, the Lightning Sorceress is an insanely versatile farmer in the late-game.
  • Take advantage of her specialties of Baal running, Uber Key farming, Elite Pack sniping, and Arcane Sanctuary farming to get maximum value.
  • This build is ineffective in most scenarios before acquiring Infinity on your Mercenary, but with Infinity, Griffon's Eye as your Helmet, and 117% Faster Cast Rate, the Lightning Sorceress becomes one of the overall strongest late-game builds.

Guide by DarkHumility

We hope you enjoy this build! With fast-paced Elite/Boss sniping, Baal running, Arcane destroying, and so much more, you cannot go wrong with a fully-loaded Lightning Sorceress! Zap the game into submission!

Good luck!