Game Mobalytics

Charged Bolts: A Powerful Sorcerer Build for Diablo 4 (Season 1)

Introduction: Unleash the Power of Lightning

Do you want to continue harnessing the power of Lightning during the endgame and beyond in Diablo 4? Look no further than the Charged Bolts Sorcerer build. This build focuses on maximizing the efficiency of Charged Bolts while incorporating defensive skills for protection and survival. In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of this thrilling build, ensuring that you can dominate any challenge that comes your way.

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Charged Bolts

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details of the build, let’s take a moment to understand its strengths and weaknesses. Charged Bolts excels in dealing high damage to a single target, making it particularly effective against elites and bosses. Additionally, the Glinting Arc Lash skill serves as both a source of damage and cooldown reduction. The build also incorporates defensive skills such as Flame Shield and Frost Nova, ensuring protection even in close combat situations.

However, it’s important to note that the Basic Attack Arc Lash version of this build is currently recommended over the Charged Bolts build. Ice Shards and Blizzard have emerged as the best endgame builds for the Sorcerer class. Nevertheless, the Charged Bolts build remains a viable and exciting option for Lightning enthusiasts.

Season of the Malignant: Patch Update

The Season 1 Patch Update introduces several changes that are specific to the Charged Bolts Sorcerer build. Here are the key updates:

  • Enhanced Charged Bolts damage increased from 24% to 30%, and now benefits from Skill Ranks.
  • Destructive Charged Bolts Damage Reduction increased from 20% to 25%.
  • Devouring Blaze bonus Critical Strike damage reduced from 10/20/30% to 7/14/21%.
  • Devouring Blaze bonus Critical Strike damage to Immobilized reduced from 25/50/75% to 10/20/30%.
  • Aspect of Retribution bonus damage to Stunned reduced from 20-40% to 10-20%.
  • Aspect of Disobedience maximum stacks reduced from 100 to 60, decreasing the maximum Bonus Armor % from 25%-50% to 15%-30%.
  • Protection Barrier duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds.
  • Mana Shield Damage Reduction increased from 5/10/15% to 7/14/21%.
  • Destruction Glyph now affects all damage instead of just Core Skills.
  • Fixed an issue where Aspect of Control was applying its damage bonus 3 times for Staggered bosses.

These changes affect the damage output of the Charged Bolts build, with a slight buff to Enhanced Charged Bolts and nerfs to Devouring Blaze and Aspect of Control. Despite these adjustments, the Charged Bolts build remains a viable option for those who seek the power of Lightning.

Best Malignant Hearts Tier List for Charged Bolts Sorcerer

The Season 1 theme introduces Malignant Hearts, which provide build-altering bonuses. The hearts are divided into four categories, each with a corresponding color that needs to be socketed in the corresponding colored Malignant Socket on equipped jewelry. While Wrathful Hearts are a special case due to their rarity and can be placed in any Socket, Malignant Hearts should always be prioritized over Skulls in jewelry. Malignant Hearts provide an Armor bonus that scales with their Item Power.

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Listed below is the Malignant Heart Tier List for the Charged Bolts Sorcerer build, ranked by importance. The displayed stats reflect what a level 20 character would receive as a drop.

  1. Caged Heart of The Barber (Wrathful, Super-World Tier III): Critical Strikes and all subsequent damage within 2.0-4.0 seconds is absorbed by your target. Then, the absorbed damage erupts onto surrounding enemies. Stored damage is increased by 10% per second. – Fixed in Patch 1.1.1 to work with “on hit” effects and Lucky Hit chance.
  2. Caged Heart of Tal’Rasha (Vicious, Offensive): For each unique element you deal damage with, you deal 7-12% increased damage for 3-10 seconds. – Fixed in Patch 1.1.2 to be correctly calculated as multiplicative instead of additive.
  3. Caged Heart of Revenge (Brutal, Defensive-World Tier III): 10-20% of incoming damage is instead suppressed. When you use a Defensive, Subterfuge, or a Macabre skill, all suppressed damage is amplified by 250% and explodes, dealing up to 1360-2040 Fire damage to nearby enemies.
  4. Caged Heart of Spellbreaking (Brutal, Defensive): Upon taking Elemental Damage, gain 10-20% Damage Reduction for 5 seconds. – Buffed in Patch 1.1.1 to reduce all damage taken, instead of providing resistances to individual elements.
  5. Caged Heart of Tempting Fate (Vicious, Offensive-World Tier III): You gain 40-60% Critical Strike Damage but your Non-Critical Strikes deal 20-15% less damage.
  6. Caged Heart of the Dark Dance (Vicious, Offensive-World Tier III): Every 5 seconds while above 60% Life, Core Skills cost 68-51 Life instead of your Primary Resource. Skills that consume Life deal 10-20% increased damage.
  7. Caged Heart of the Picana (Vicious, Offensive): Critical Strikes electrically charge the enemy for 0.75-2.50 seconds, causing lightning to arc between them and any other charged enemies, dealing 68-136 Lightning damage.

Socket these Malignant Hearts into your jewelry to optimize your build’s potential and dominate the forces of evil.

Skill Tree Points and Skill Bar

To fully unleash the potential of the Charged Bolts Sorcerer build, it is essential to allocate Skill Points and choose the appropriate skills. The following tables outline the recommended distribution of Skill Points for this build:

Skill Points Table

To further enhance your character, make sure to obtain all Skill Points from Renown and allocate the remaining 7 points accordingly.

Enchantment Slots

Enchantment Slots provide additional customization options for your build. For the Charged Bolts build, we recommend the following setups:

  • First Enchantment Slot: Equipped Fire Bolt. This will apply a Burn Damage Over Time effect to enemies whenever they are directly damaged by other skills, providing a reliable source of additional damage that consistently augments the overall impact of the build.
  • Second Enchantment Slot: Equipped Arc Lash. This will stun enemies whenever a cooldown is used, providing additional Crowd Control.
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If you are seeking immunity from fatal damage, replacing Arc Lash with Flame Shield in the Enchantment Slot is also a viable option. Flame Shield provides a cheat death functionality with a 120-second cooldown, ensuring your survival in dire situations.

Note that any Non-Ultimate Skill can be equipped in an Enchantment Slot, provided that it has at least one skill point allocated to it. Additionally, skill points granted through gear work just as effectively.

Paragon: Unleash Your True Power

The Paragon progression system unlocks after reaching Level 50 and offers a considerable boost to character power. Within the Paragon Board, you’ll find various bonuses, ranging from minor stat enhancements on Magic Nodes to more significant gains with Rare Glyphs and Legendary Nodes.

When progressing towards Glyph Sockets and Legendary Nodes, prioritize attributes such as Attack Speed, Non-Physical Damage, Intelligence, Resistance, and Life for Normal and Magic Nodes. As you level up Glyphs, their effects expand in radius. If you are unable to meet Additional Bonus requirements early on, it might be better to skip allocating extra nodes for now.

For a comprehensive breakdown of the most beneficial Paragon nodes for the Charged Bolts Sorcerer build, refer to the guide on the planner.

Mechanics and Playstyle: Unleashing the Storm

The Charged Bolts Sorcerer build revolves around two primary damage-dealing skills: Charged Bolts and Arc Lash. Charged Bolts excels in dealing high damage to a single target, making it perfect for taking down elites and bosses in close combat. On the other hand, Arc Lash delivers potent Area of Effect (AoE) damage in a frontal direction, with the potential to stun enemies upon contact.

To maximize your damage output, make use of the Unstable Currents Ultimate Skill. This skill triggers additional Shock skills randomly whenever a Shock skill is used, synergizing exceptionally well with Arc Lash. During the duration of Unstable Currents, spam Arc Lash continuously, while casting Charged Bolts whenever sufficient Mana has been accumulated.

To enhance your survivability, utilize Teleport for swift movement across the battlefield, and rely on defensive skills such as Flame Shield and Frost Nova for barrier and crowd control. Follow this rotation for optimal damage output:

  1. Engage in combat by casting Teleport into the midst of enemies (or near the boss for single-target encounters).
  2. Use Frost Nova to Freeze all surrounding enemies.
  3. Activate the Unstable Currents Ultimate to enhance subsequent attacks.
  4. Cast Charged Bolts until out of Mana.
  5. Spam Arc Lash repeatedly.
  6. Cast Charged Bolts again as soon as enough Mana is available.
  7. Use Flame Shield for protection or healing.
  8. Teleport to a safe distance if in trouble.
  9. Repeat the above steps until all enemies are defeated.

Gear Choice and Stats: Equipping for Power

When it comes to gear selection for the Charged Bolts Sorcerer build, prioritize the following stats:

  • + DPS value: Boost your overall damage output.
  • Critical Strike Damage: Increase the damage dealt on Critical Strikes.
  • Lightning Critical Strike Damage: Amplify the damage of Critical Strikes specifically against Lightning-resistant enemies.
  • Vulnerable Damage: Enhance damage against Vulnerable enemies.
  • Basic Attack Speed: Increase the speed at which basic attacks are performed.
  • Cooldown Reduction: Reduce the cooldown time of skills.
  • Critical Strike Chance: Increase the chance of landing Critical Strikes.
  • Ranks of Charged Bolts, Attack Speed, and Lightning Critical Strike Damage: Strengthen the effectiveness of Charged Bolts.
  • Ranks of Ball Lightning: Empower the Ball Lightning skill.
  • Ranks of Devouring Blaze Passive: Enhance the power of Devouring Blaze.
  • Damage Reduction: Decrease the damage received from enemies.
  • Maximum Life: Increase your maximum health pool.
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Remember to replace outdated gear regularly and upgrade new gear at the Blacksmith to increase Item Levels further, which results in higher stat values.

Legendary Aspects and Codex of Power: Empowering Your Build

To optimize your Charged Bolts Sorcerer build, it is crucial to acquire the best Legendary Aspects. These Aspects can greatly enhance your character’s power and playstyle. Here are the top Aspects to look out for:

  • Aspect Name: Legendary Aspect Power

Ensure that you collect these Aspects and socket them into your Legendary Items. If you cannot find the proper Legendary drops, Aspects from the Codex of Power can be used as substitutes, although they have weaker effects. Extract Aspects from lower-level Legendary Items and imprint them onto better Rare Items with preferred stats for maximum effectiveness.

Gems: Unleashing the Spark of Power

To further enhance your character’s capabilities, socket the following Gems into your gear:

  • Weapon: Royal Sapphire for Critical Strike Damage to Crowd Controlled enemies.
  • Armor: Royal Ruby for Maximum Life or Royal Topaz to prevent deaths from chain Crowd Controls.
  • Jewelry: Malignant Hearts if playing Season 1. Otherwise, Royal Skull for Armor.

These Gems will augment your build’s strengths and provide the necessary edge to overcome any challenges.

Elixirs and Health Potions: Boosting Your Performance

To bolster your character’s stats and experience gain, craft helpful Elixirs from the Alchemist. Make sure to forage plants and gather the necessary crafting materials during your adventures to create Elixirs that increase Critical Strike Chance and Damage or Attack Speed. Additionally, upgrade your health potion regularly to ensure you have enough healing power to survive the toughest battles.

Changelog: Stay Up to Date

As updates are released for Diablo 4, the Charged Bolts Sorcerer build may require adjustments. Here are the recent changes:

  • August 15th, 2023: Caged Heart of Tal’Rasha fixed in Patch 1.1.2 to be correctly calculated as multiplicative instead of additive. Malignant Heart Tier List adjusted accordingly.
  • August 9th, 2023: Malignant Heart rankings reevaluated for Patch 1.1.1 changes. Caged Heart of The Barber no longer prevents “on hit” effects and Lucky Hit chance from working. Caged Heart of Spellbreaking now reduces all damage taken, instead of providing resistances to individual elements. Caged Heart of Tal’Rasha bonus was found to be additive with other damage increases, instead of a separate multiplier.
  • July 18th, 2023: Guide updated for Season 1.

Stay tuned for further updates and improvements to ensure your Charged Bolts Sorcerer build remains optimized and formidable.

With the Charged Bolts Sorcerer build, you can harness the electrifying power of Lightning and dominate the forces of darkness in Diablo 4. Unleash your spells, obliterate your enemies, and emerge as the ultimate master of lightning. The path to greatness awaits you!

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