You’ve all seen the endgame version of the Ball Lightning build that destroys Uber Lilith in seconds. But what about leveling 1 to 50 with Ball Lightning in Diablo 4 Season 2? Is it viable?
In fact, leveling with Ball Lightning is actually ridiculous and is super powerful right from the get-go.
With this build, you can have incredible AOE potential Chain Lightning across the entire battlefield and insane healing (thanks to the Vampiric Powers). You even have one of the best ultimates in the game that lets you destroy packs of elites or even bosses in seconds.
The best thing is that this build requires zero specific Diablo 4 Items – just a few aspects that can be obtained from the codex. So, it doesn’t require any RNG to achieve Maximum Power, which is super important while leveling.
The first ability you want to unlock is Arc Lash, which unleashes lightning damage in an arc in front of you.
Enhanced Arc Lash gives you a chance for free second Arc Lash swipe.
Flickering Arc Lash gives you 18% movement speed when hitting enemies with Arc Lash.
You do want to level Arc Lash to five out of five as it’s going to be an attack that you will be using Duriel Admission in between spamming Ball Lightning.
For the earlier levels, as soon as you can, you actually want to put 1 point into Chain Lightning, which is going to be your Mana dump early on. Keep leveling up Arc Lash until you unlock your defensive skills.
I see a lot of players making this mistake early on and that’s unlocking tons of offensive abilities of which you won’t be able to use them all on the battlefield because you have limited Mana. Instead, you should unlock some abilities, which are cooldown based instead rather than using up Mana.
The first defensive skill you want to unlock is Teleport, which breaks Crowd Control and lets you move around the map more efficiently.
Then, unlock Ice Armor, which when you cast it forms a barrier around you, which absorbs 33% of your base life in damage. This is going to help you survive more.
Then, unlock Frost Nova, which is going to freeze enemies around you when you cast it.
Enhanced Frost Nova reduces the cool down of Frost Nova by up to 4 seconds by killing those frozen enemies.
Then, unlock Mystical Frost Nova because you may make enemies vulnerable when you freeze them and do even more damage against them.
Put in some more points into Arc Lash until it’s five out of five. Then, put 3 points into Glass Cannon, which increases your damage considerably whilst making you a little bit more squishy. But don’t worry you won’t die because you will get so many survivability passives later on.
At this point, after you’ve spent 16 skill points, you will unlock Ball Lightning. Put 1 point into Enhanced Iced Armor, which increases your Mana regeneration by 25% when activated.
And now, you can remove your 1 point from Chain Lightning and put it into Ball Lightning. Ball Lightning releases as the name suggests a ball of lightning, which moves forward and damages enemies continuously. You do have to aim it in the line of sight you want it fired, but it’s pretty easy to use after a few attempts. It works especially well against larger enemies like bosses and elites. Because the ball spends more time traveling through them allowing it to hit them more often.
Enhanced Ball Lightning increases the damage rate of Ball Lightning by 200% of your attack speed.
Then, Wizard’s Ball Lightning lets you create Crackling Energy – the small consumable lightning energy balls when Ball Lightning hits an enemy four times or more. Crackling Energy powers up this ball down below and automatically damages surrounding enemies. But it’s also going to provide a ton of other benefits integral to this build.
Level up Ball Lightning to five out of five as soon as possible.
At level 15, you unlock enchantments, which is a Sorcerer specific build crafting ability. It lets you socket one of your abilities into a passive enchantment. I highly recommend doing this as soon as possible when you unlock the quest line for it.
For this build, the first enchantment you want is Fireball, so at level 15, put 1 point into Fireball. Fireball Enchantment basically causes enemies to explode when they die. So, sometimes against weaker enemies, one small attack can set up a cascade of explosions, which kills every enemy on the battlefield.
At around this time, you’ll also unlock your ultimate ability, Unstable Currents. When you cast it for 10 seconds, it makes you insanely powerful. Anytime you cast any shock skill, it has a chance to cast a random Core, Conjuration, or Mastery Shock skill even those you don’t have any points in.
So, during these 10 seconds, as you spam Arc Lash and Ball Lightning, you’ll randomly cast Chain Lightning, Lightning Spear, Charged Bolts, and even more Ball Lightnings for free. So, you literally flood the battlefield with lightning abilities. This, in turn, generates tons of Crackling Energy, which creates even more lightning on the battlefield.
Prime Unstable Currents increases your Attack Speed by 25% when using Unstable Currents.
Then, Supreme Unstable Currents makes your Crackling Energy cost zero charges, so it can chain infinitely during those 10 seconds.
Put 1 point into Static Discharge so you can unlock Invigorating Conduit, which you want to put 3 points into as soon as possible. So, now every time you pick up a Crackling Energy, you will gain 12 Mana.
During your ultimate, you’ll generate so many of these that you’ll basically never run out of Mana. And if you use these Mana sources carefully during battle and don’t just pick them up when you don’t need them, then honestly, it feels like you never run out of Mana during any fight.
Put 1 point into Align the Elements, so you can put 3 points into Protection. Whenever you use one of your defensive cooldowns, you’ll generate a barrier, which absorbs damage equal to 30% of your life.
Now, at this point, you can unlock your key passive, Vyr’s Mastery, which increases your damage against close enemies by 15% but also gives you 20% damage reduction from those close enemies on top. Critical Strikes boost these bonuses even more.
Put 1 point into causing currents, which lets you put three points into conduction for increased Movement Speed and then 3 points into Electrocution for even more damage reduction.
At around this point, you should be level 30 and you can unlock your second enchantment, which you want to put a point back into Chain Lightning and use it as your second enchantment. This basically gives you a free cost of Chain Lightning every time you spend 100 Mana.
Next, go back and pick up Enhanced Teleport and Shimmering Teleport for even more survivability.
Put 1 point into Devastation, so you can put 3 points into Elemental Dominance for even more damage for Ball Lightning.
Put 3 points into Mana Shield, which gives you a whopping 21% damage reduction when you spend 100 Mana.
Put 3 points into Elemental Attunement, which gives you a chance to reset any of your defensive skills on a Lucky Hit Critical Strike.
Then, finally go back and finish off the build with your final 2 points into Precision Magic to increase your Lucky Hit Chance by 10%.
Moving on to aspects, there are only two what I’d call mandatory aspects, which I recommend applying to your rings early on when leveling.
The first is Prodigy’s Aspect, which gives you 15 Mana whenever you use a cooldown. This means that you should use your cooldowns like Teleport, Ice Armor and even Frost Nova when you need the Mana and cycle these abilities accordingly. Try to avoid using these abilities up front when you have Maximum Mana.
The second is Recharging Aspect, which gives you one and a half Mana every time Chain Lightning bounces.
Remember, your second enchantment is Chain Lightning, so this will automatically cast and give you free Mana.
Other aspects I’d highly recommend and can easily be obtained include:
- Stable Aspect, which gives you a chance to trigger a free cast from your shock skills when you don’t have Unstable Currents on. This means even without the ultimate ability activated, you can sometimes spawn a free random lightning ball.
- Charged Aspect, which gives you a further 10% Movement Speed every time you collect Crackling Energy.
- Aspect of Might, which gives you a whopping 20% damage reduction whenever you use Arc Lash.
Vampiric Powers are the new seasonal abilities you get in Season 2 and you can unlock these from level 1.
The first one you unlock is Undying, which, whenever you cost any skill, is going to heal you. And honestly, for the lower levels, this is enough healing to survive anything.
Other Vampiric Powers you want include:
- Anticipation, which reduces your cooldown for Unstable Currents by a whopping 20%.
- Hectic, which reduces your cooldowns every five costs of Arc Lash.
- Hemomancy, which randomly deals damage to nearby enemies and then heals you for a chunk for each enemy hit.
- Domination, which means you deal bonus damage against Frozen enemies.
- Moonrise is one of of the last Vampiric Powers you unlock from the questline, so it may not be appropriate for the purposes of a leveling build. But if you do unlock this early on, then definitely put this on instead of Domination. This Vampiric Power gives you free stacking bonuses to Attack Speed Damage and Movement Speed.
In terms of gear, the most important stat for the build is Cooldown Reduction, so buy Diablo 4 Gold to get any helmet or amulet with this as it’s going to reduce the cooldown of all your defensive abilities and your ultimate.
Remember, you’re also going to gain Mana from spamming these cooldown abilities, so this is a really important stack. As a result, I ran a one-handed weapon, like a wand or dagger alongside a focus rather than a two-handed staff because a focus always rolls with cooldown reduction.
Other important things to look out for are:
- Movement Speed on your boots and your amulet to speed up movement and leveling
- Ranks of Ball Lightning on your pants to make your main attack stronger
- Mana Cost Reduction on boots, amulet, and focus
- Attack Speed and Critical Strike Chance on your gloves
Otherwise, don’t worry too much more about gear. As you’re leveling, it doesn’t need to be perfect as you’ll replace it very fast.
Make sure you replace your weapons with higher DPS weapons if you have enough D4 Gold, as that will make the biggest difference to damage more than any singular stat affix.