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Diablo IV

Diablo 4 Ice Shards Sorcerer Build: Paragon, Stats & Legendaries

Nathan Garvin

The Ice Shards + Blizzard build for the Sorcerer heavily relies on synergies. While Ice Shards is easily the highest damage spell in this build’s arsenal, it doesn’t reach its full potential on its own. Enemies need to be frozen for Ice Shards to reach its full damage potential, boosted by numerous legendary mods that further enhance the effects of spells used on vulnerable or frozen enemies. It’s also a mana-hungry skill - you’ll be lucky to get 3-4 bursts out before your mana is depleted, and this just isn’t cost effective unless it’s used against enemies that are compromised, and bosses should be stunned by other spells like Blizzard and Frost Bolt before laying into them with Ice Shards. That said, once you get the rhythm down this build is capable of evaporating most enemy mobs - including elites - and dealing heavy damage to bosses… provided you’re prepared to take advantage of them when they’re vulnerable. This page will provide a capable World Tier 3 (Nightmare) Ice Shard + Blizzard build for the Sorcerer in Diablo 4.

Diablo 4 Ice Shards Sorcerer Build Overview

The build provided here is tried and tested for World Tier 3 (Nightmare) difficulty mode, but can easily help you clear the main questline, too. How it will fare in World Tier 4 (Torment) difficulty is a matter of speculation and theory-crafting at the moment, but expanded Paragon options and [unique] gear will probably affect how this build functions. Still, getting far enough to start farming uniques may require a different build to bootstrap your way to the pinnacles of power in Diablo 4, and this Ice Shard + Blizzard Sorcerer build can certainly manage this.

On these pages you’ll find what skills and gear we recommend for this build, as well as what stats to look for on equipment once you can afford such granularity. In addition, we’ll provide a leveling guide so you know what skills to pick, and when. Once you hit level 50, you’ll stop gaining skill points and start gaining [Paragon Points], and we’ll also discuss what nodes, glyphs and boards to look out for as you advance your Paragon Level.

Below you’ll find a table of contents linking to the various sections of this build guide:

(1 of 2) At its core, the build’s main goal is simple enough - freeze enemies with Frost Nova,

At its core, the build’s main goal is simple enough - freeze enemies with Frost Nova, (left), then punish with Ice Shards. (right)

World Tier 3 Ice Shards Sorcerer Build: How it Works

This is a pretty simple build conceptually, but there are a lot of moving parts. At its simplest, you want to invest in Frost Bolt, Ice Shards and Blizzard as your core offensive skills, and pick upgrade that enhance their effects against chilled or frozen enemies. Then you want to freeze enemies and go to down on them with your aforementioned offensive skills.

The most common mob-clearer is Ice Shards, as it ricochets when hitting frozen enemies and gets a +25% damage boost (assuming you purchase the Enhanced Ice Shards upgrade). It also chews up mana, so you won’t get many shots off before you’re out of mana and hobbled, offensively. This glorious bit of time when you’re tossing ricocheting Ice Shards into mobs of frozen enemies is referred to as “peak offense”, and it also includes when you’re laying into stunned bosses, who count as frozen (along with other debuffs) when it comes to proccing bonus effects.

Before you can enjoy this blissful moment of peak offense, you need to freeze enemies, something Ice Shards is regrettably not great at. Fortunately, Frost Nova almost always inflicts freeze against non boss enemies in a single cast (the efficacy drops on subsequent casts, so some durable elites might prove troublesome), and it runs on a cooldown, leaving your mana entirely free for subsequent volleys of Ice Shards.

That’s it. The core of the build. Run next to things you want to die, cast Frost Nova to freeze them, use Ice Shards to turn them all into ice cubes.

Unfortunately, some enemies will have the effrontery to survive these assaults, or they won’t be caught in your Frost Nova, or they’ll show up while said Frost Nova is on cooldown and/or your mana is depleted, and bosses aren’t as easy to freeze (or debuff in general) as lesser foes. Instead of lying down and dying in such circumstances, the rest of the build comes into play.

(1 of 2) Bosses require a different approach, skirmishing with Blizzard and Frost Bolt,

Bosses require a different approach, skirmishing with Blizzard and Frost Bolt, (left), and only resorting to peak damage when they are stunned. (right)

Blizzard is a fine alternative to Ice Shards when peak offense isn’t appropriate or available. Perhaps there are just some stragglers and you don’t want to waste your Frost Nova cooldown on them? Maybe an enemy has already been frozen and Frost Nova won’t get it done by itself? Bosses must be softened up before indulging in peak offense. Or maybe you just want to soften enemies up with Blizzard (usually followed by some Frost Bolts) before you shift to peak offense? Blizzard may be a secondary offensive skill, but it deals heavy damage, inflicts a lot of chill, and most importantly, has a long duration. It can be a pain keeping enemies in the effects of a Blizzard, but you can always cast it again to cover more ground, and the long duration means you’ll ideally only need to cast it sparingly to get the most of out it, giving your mana time to recharge.

Frost Bolt is a tertiary offensive ability, but notable for hitting like a truck, gaining AoE against chilled and frozen enemies, and generating mana when hitting said debuffed enemies. It’s the perfect cast when you’re low on mana, and like Blizzard, inflicts a good bit of chill per hit. The two are a fine tandem, and while they don’t reach the dizzying heights of power as Ice Shards during peak offense, they’re more than capable of shattering mobs and whittling down elites and bosses.

Add Ice Armor to the rotation and you’ll get a fine defensive option, one that doubles as an offensive alternative to Frost Nova if you’ve purchased the Greater Ice Shards upgrade, which causes enemies to count as frozen when you have a barrier. Ice Armor’s barrier generation (5% of the damage you deal is added to barrier) and its offensive synergy with Ice Shards can make the Sorcerer quite tanky, albeit for short durations.

With the right legendary mods, Deep Freeze completely refreshes your Sorcerer, increasing your staying power dramatically.

Finally you have Deep Freeze, the ultimate frost skill that deals respectable damage, freezes most enemies on-screen while giving your Sorcerer a few seconds of invulnerability while their cooldowns tick down, their manage regenerates and, with the right legendary mod, their health recovers. Basically a full refresher in the middle of combat, albeit on a one minute cooldown.

This build requires some grit and the ability to kite enemies during lulls when offensive skills and resources are recharging, and takes a feast-or-famine approach to boss fights - if you’re prepared to take advantage of stun periods, you can absolutely decimate bosses, but if you can’t focus peak offense on a stunned boss, it’s a slow process. That said, when used correctly this build can absolutely trash mobs, elites, champions and bosses, and is more than capable of handling whatever World Tier 3 (Nightmare difficulty) throws at you.

World Tier 3 Ice Shards Sorcerer Build: Recommended Skills

The main skills used by this cold Sorcerer build are as follows:

Skill Type Skill
Basic Skills Frost Bolt
Core Skills Ice Shards
Defensive Skills Frost Nova, Ice Armor
Mastery Skills Blizzard
Ultimate Skills Deep Freeze
Key Passive "Avalanche" iconAvalanche

Frost Bolt

Pretty basic at the start, Frost Bolt hits hard but, like most things with this build, doesn’t really shine until the enemy is debuffed (either chilled or frozen). At this point if you have the Enhanced Frost Bolt passive It’ll gain an AoE, effectively turning it into a free-to-cast Fireball… albeit one that deals ice damage. Also builds up chill on enemies, and is surprisingly powerful once you get some gear that increases Basic Skill attack speed and damage. The Glinting Frost Bolt causes you to regen mana when hitting chilled or frozen enemies, which is welcome as, as powerful as it can be, Frost Bolt is generally an attack you use when your mana is low (or you want to keep it for later). Blizzard can inflict damage and chill and Frost Bolt can finish the job - it’s an effective combo for both trash mobs and for building up the stun gauge on bosses.

Your primary damage-dealer is Ice Shards, which will gain a damage boost against frozen enemies and, when upgraded, ricochet.

Ice Shards

Your primary damage dealer, it inflicts less damage than Frost Bolt, but you shoot five shards at a time. On its own, it’s nothing terribly special, but it synergizes incredibly well with other skills and ramps up in damage quickly against frozen enemies, gaining a 25% damage boost by default. Enhanced Ice Shards causes your Ice Shards to ricochet, 40% chance by default, guaranteed if the enemy is frozen and Greater Ice Shards causes you to treat enemies as if they’re frozen any time you have a barrier, giving you the guaranteed ricochet chance and +25% damage boost.

The ricochet proc makes this a proper AoE attack that can shatter entire mobs of enemies and deal grievous damage to bosses, but the enemy must be frozen for this skill to really shine. If you have Frost Nova, use it to instantly freeze almost any enemy in the game (save for bosses) and if you don’t, anything that gives you a barrier will work almost as well. If you can’t freeze the enemy or put up a barrier, you’re probably better off sticking to Blizzard and Frost Bolt, but the general gameplay loop against most enemies is to just run up, use Frost Nova, and spam Ice Shards until everything is dead. This build gets even sillier if you get a legendary mod causing Ice Shards to peirce.

Frost Nova freezes enemies, making it an excellent defensive and offensive skill.

Frost Nova and Ice Shield

Despite being in the “Defensive” tier of the skill tree, you will use Frost Nova offensively. In fact, it’s one of the linchpins to this entire build. Frozen enemies suffer in all kinds of ways depending on your skills, passives and gear, and there’s no better way to freeze enemies than Frost Nova. Most enemies will be instantly frozen for this, albeit for a meager duration. This skill also has a silly long cooldown to start, something you can reduce by maxing it out and getting cooldown gear. There’s also a legendary mod that gives you two charges of Frost Nova, albeit at the expense of increasing the cooldown.

Get the Enhanced Frost Nova passive and enemies killed during Frost Nova will reduce the cooldown by 1 second, capping out at 4 seconds per cast. You want to spam this, and reducing the cooldown from around 18 seconds to 14 isn’t bad, especially since the main goal of the build is to run into mobs, hit them with Frost Nova, and immediately lay waste to them with Ice Shards. Not that you have much choice with this passive, as it’s required before you can reach the latter two. Speaking of which, the second passive you should get is Mystical Frost Nova, which makes afflicted enemies Vulnerable for 4 seconds (6 seconds for bosses) as well as freezing them. You’re already using this to proc freeze and boost damage, so slapping a second damage boost on top of that is a no-brainer. Even works on bosses - once they’re stunned, run up and hit them with Frost Nova, then empty your mana orb blasting them with Ice Shards. You can mow through the life bars of most bosses this way.

Ice Shield is more humble than Frost Nova, mostly serving to give you a secondary boost to Ice Shards… assuming your purchased the Greater Ice Shards passive, which will cause Ice Shards to ricochet and gain +25% damage while you have a barrier. The passives for this skill aren’t very great, nor is the core skill itself - it’s arguably not worth investing extra skill points to gain a paltry bit more barrier per cast. Either you’ll gain enough barrier based on the damage you deal (5% is converted to barrier) or you won’t, and the small boosts gained by investing more skill points won’t overcome that. Unlocking Enhanced Ice Armor for the increased mana regen and Shimmering Ice Armor for the freeze chance are both not terrible ideas, but not necessary, either.

Ice Shield is also a decent Enchantment to select, as it gives you a chance to proc a barrier when you take damage, but this can be fairly situational. Against big swings, you really aren’t helped by that 5% much, but against hordes of pests that deal relatively little damage, it can be fairly useful.


Not the primary or arguably even the secondary damage dealer for this build, Blizzard nonetheless has its uses. It lasts a long time and can deal heavy damage if you can keep enemies in the area, and it’s also not a bad way of building up chill. Generally you’ll use this in conjunction with Frost Bolt for trash mobs that aren’t worth using Frost Nova on or, ironically, bosses. This spell’s effects don’t stack, so hitting a boss with it is a fairly mana-neutral way to deal damage and work on stunning the boss while also leaving yourself with plenty of mana to spam Ice Shards when the boss does get stunned.

Blizzard also has some useful legendary mods that modify its effects, like causing you to take less damage any time you’re in the area of your own Blizzard, or generating ice spikes randomly that deal more damage and inflict more chill. When you don’t have a Frost Nova to burn, you can just use Blizzard and Frost Bolt until something freezes, then unleash your typical barrage of Ice Shards.

Deep Freeze

An odd pick, one that doesn’t synergize well with the rest of the build, but with the right legendary it can be an incredibly useful way of clearing mobs and coming out fresher than you went in. On its own it deals damage roughly comparable to Ice Shards and Blizzard, albeit over a much larger area and it’ll likely freeze everything on screen (eventually), and during the spell’s effect you’ll be immune to damage and debuffs. While it inflicts freeze, it’s not guaranteed to do so at the end of the spell’s effect, and will often inflict freeze midway through the duration, resulting in enemies recovering by the time the spell ends, so it’s not a functional replacement for Frost Nova.

If you pick the Prime Deep Freeze passive, you’ll exit Deep Freeze with a barrier for each enemy you froze, which will likely be any non-boss enemy on screen at the time, which, assuming you picked the correct passives for Ice Shards will allow you to come out of Deep Freeze with a damage buff, a defensive buff and full mana (you recover mana during the duration of Deep Freeze). Supreme Deep Freeze will dock your other cooldowns by 50% when the effect of Deep Freeze ends, but since the cooldown on Deep Freeze is nearly a minute, it’s not something you’ll be able to exploit often.

Where Deep Freeze really shines is with legendary mods that cause you to heal 10-20% of your life each second of Deep Freeze’s four second duration. Assuming you don’t get a terrible roll (you’re really looking for 15%+ here) you’ll recover most of your life every time you use Deep Freeze as well as its other effects, essentially turning it into the ultimate panic button saving throw whenever you find yourself treading too deep into enemy mobs or encountering unexpected damage spikes. You’ll certainly come out of Deep Freeze better than you went in, and when fighting dangerous mobs with multiple elites, you can empty your mana and cooldowns, use Deep Freeze, and be ready for a second round of peak offense.


This skill won over Shatter… mostly because Shatter just didn’t seem to perform as well as it should have. This build is build around freezing enemies, so you’d think dealing effectively +25% extra damage to frozen enemies would be a no-brainer, but most enemies don’t survive a freeze session, and the +40% damage and free cast of Ice Shards or Blizzard is just more versatile. Granted, "Avalanche" iconAvalanche’s (up to) 10% proc rate isn’t great, but if you have a bit of Lucky Hit even Frost Bolt can proc this, and it’s useful in all scenarios, whether the enemy is frozen or not.

Hoarfrosts boosts your damage against chilled and frozen enemies, aligning with this build’s goal quite nicely.

World Tier 3 Ice Shards Sorcerer Build: Recommended Passives

You’ve got an awful lot of latitude with passives, and really, you can pick and mix between a number of these. We had seven skill points unspent just out of sheer indecision and the build was working fine clearing [Nightmare Dungeons] and pillaging during [Helltide Events]. Here are some of the passives you should consider:

  • Devastation: Gives you +3 max mana per rank. More mana is… fine, especially when stacked with other passives and legendary mods that boost damage when spells are cast over a specific mana threshold, but this is mostly just a mandatory spend en route to Elemental Dominance.

  • Elemental Dominance: +3% extra damage when Core Skills (that’s Ice Shards, for this build) is cast at above 50 mana. If you get all three ranks, that’s +9% damage for around two-thirds of your Ice Shards, which… eh, next 6% damage boost? Not groundbreaking, but if you have nothing else to burn the skill points on, there’s no real downside.

  • Elemental Attunement: Lucky Hits give your Critical Strikes up to a 5% chance to reset the cooldowns of your defensive skills, limited to one proc per 10 seconds. Each one of those conditions makes this less likely to proc, and hence, less useful, and the overall chance of this proccing when you need it is pretty low, even with three skill points invested. You’re probably better off kiting or tanking when your defensive skills are down… but this build’s defensive skills are really, really good, so it’s worth a mention, especially if you can boost your Lucky Hit and Critical Hit rates up.

  • Glass Cannon: You deal 6% more damage per rank, but sustain 3% more as well. If you’re not getting slaughtered all the time, the increased damage output may be very well worth the risk. Especially if you have legendary mods that give you sources of damage reduction.

  • "Align the Elements" iconAlign the Elements: You gain 1% damage reduction from elites every second you don’t take damage from one, up to 40%. Basically a one-time 40% damage reduction from an elite’s attack, and you’ll quite frequently build up a bit of damage reduction during fights. The damage reduction you gain per second increases by one point per level. Not the best, but you need it to access better passives… and it’s not like getting 1-3% flat damage reduction every second you avoid taking damage is terrible, especially since elites are the most dangerous enemies you’ll face.

  • Protection: You gain 10% of your life as a barrier for 2 seconds every time you use a cooldown. For this build, it’ll proc every time you cast Frost Nova, Ice Shield or Deep Freeze. The duration is miserable and most of the time it procs you’ll already have a barrier, but this ensures you shrug off damage most of the time you’re using this build’s key skills.

  • Mana Shield: Spend 100 mana and you gain 5% damage reduction (per rank) for 5 seconds. You’ll burn through 100 mana every time you lay into an enemy with Ice Shards, so this is a fine way to keep some damage reduction active much of the time.

  • Precision Magic: Boosts your Lucky Hit Chance by 5% per rank. If you have numerous effects that proc based on Lucky Hit (like Elemental Attunement or Snap Freeze) you’re going to want to invest in this, if not, not.

  • icy Veil: What’s 5% of 6 seconds? Yeah, not much. You only need to put a point into this to reach the better passives it gates.

  • Snap Freeze: If Lucky Hit procs, Frost Skills have a 3% chance to instantly freeze enemies per rank. Frost Bolt, Ice Shards and Blizzard are all “Frost” skills, (along with Frost Nova, but proccing an extra freeze with that skill is kind of moot), which is this build’s entire offensive arsenal. Keep in mind that the higher your Lucky Hit rate, the more often this will proc, and different skills have higher Lucky Hit scaling - Frost Bolt and Blizzard are both more inclined to proc Lucky Hits than Ice Shards. If you invested in this, you probably want to invest in Precision Magic, as well.

  • Cold Front: You apply 8% more chill (per rank) whenever you have a barrier active. You’ll proc barriers more often later in the build, as you expand into different [Paragon Boards] and unlock scenarios under which barriers proc. A fine bonus, but there are better out there, especially in World Tier 3.

  • Permafrost: Elites are the most dangerous enemies in the game. This gives you a +5% damage boost per rank against them. Easy buy.

  • Icy Touch: Vulnerable enemies sustain 4% more damage. If you have the Mystical Frost Nova upgrade, it’ll make all enemies hit Vulnerable, so you’ve an easy way to set this up. Granted, the Vulnerable state doesn’t last long (4 seconds for normal enemies, 6 seconds for bosses), but the goal is to unload as much offense as possible immediately after a Frost Nova, so this is effectively up to +12% peak damage. Not terrible, not great, but highly conditional.

  • Hoarfrost: Probably the first slam-dunk no-brainer. This build relies on freezing enemies, and the extra damage that comes from doing so. This gives a +3% damage boost against chilled enemies and a 6% boost against frozen enemies per rank. Making the core aspect of your build more powerful is an obvious win.

  • Frigid Breeze: Like Icy Touch, this passive does good things - a chance to generate 5 mana when you hit Vulnerable enemies, but this requires a Lucky Hit to proc, while using cold damage (not hard - everything this build deals is cold damage), the enemy must be Vulnerable (this build typically only inflicts the Vulnerable debuff for a few seconds following a Frost Nova) and the proc rate is up to a 20% chance. Yes, this has a chance to give a decent refund when you’re using your Ice Shards barrage after Frost Nova, but it’s nowhere near a sure thing, and it’s kind of hard to justify 3x Skill Points for that.

World Tier 3 Ice Shards Sorcerer Build: Skill Point Allocation by Level

Now that we’ve gone over all the skills we’re interested in for this build, we’ll cover which ones to pick as you level through the game. Deviation from these suggestions shouldn’t affect matters too much, especially if you come across a legendary that boosts a specific skill. The general idea of hitting enemies with Frost Nova and following up with Blizzard, Ice Shards or even Frost Bolt isn’t that complicated and your offensive skills are fairly interchangeable throughout World Tier 1 and World Tier 2. Sometimes Blizzard + Frost Bolt will be performing better, other times you might not rely on anything aside from Frost Nova and Ice Shards. If you get a legendary that ups your basic skill attack speed, change gears and invest in Frost Bolt. If you get a legendary that doubles your Frost Nova charges, max it out as soon as possible. You’ll want everything working well, bolstered by an inventory full of legendaries in World Tier 3, but before that, go where the gear takes you.

Level Skill
2 Frost Bolt - Rank 1
3 Enhanced Frost Bolt
4 Ice Shards - Rank 1
5 Enhanced Ice Shards
6 Glinting Frost Bolt
7 Ice Shards - Rank 2
8 Frost Nova - Rank 1
9 Enhanced Frost Nova
10 Mystical Frost Nova
11-14 Frost Nova - Rank 5
15 Ice Shield - Rank 1
16 Greater Ice Shards
17 Enhanced Ice Armor
18 Blizzard - Rank 1
19 Enhanced Blizzard
20 Mage’s Blizzard
21-24 Blizzard - Rank 5
25 Deep Freeze
26 Prime Deep Freeze
27 Supreme Deep Freeze
28-30 Ice Shards - Rank 5
31-34 Frost Bolt - Rank 5
35 "Avalanche" iconAvalanche
36-38 Permafrost - Rank 3
39-41 Hoarfrost - Rank 3
42-44 Icy Touch - Rank 3
45-47 Precision Magic - Rank 3
48 Shimmering Ice Armor
49+ Passives

World Tier 3 Ice Shards Sorcerer Build: Recommended Enchantments

When a Sorcerer hits level 15 they’ll unlock their specialization quest Sorcerer: Legacy of the Magi, which you can complete to unlock Enchantment Slots. Enchantment Slots allows you to assign unlocked skills to gain passive bonuses. The bonuses depend on the skill equipped in an Enchantment Slot, and it’s worth noting that you do not need to have actually invested any skill points into the skill to equip it - skill boosts from gear are sufficient. You have two Enchantment Slots you can unlock, one will unlock immediately after completing the aforementioned quest, and the second will unlock when you hit level 30. Here are the best Enchantments for this build:

  • Frost Bolt: Direct damage from Skills applies up to 21% Chill. This build relies on chilling and freezing enemies (the former is a step towards the latter) to reach peak offense, and using Frost Bolt as a passive boosts this rate of chill, especially benefitting Ice Shards, which natively doesn’t have any chill buildup.

  • Ice Shards: Ice Shards automatically conjure and fly towards Frozen enemies. Not the most inspired of picks, you’ll auto cast one Ice Shard at regular intervals, which whill seek out any frozen enemies. Multiple frozen enemies won’t trigger more Ice Shards, but this costs no mana, and is a fairly reliable way to boost your overall damage output.

  • Ice Armor: Upon getting hit, you have a 5% chance to apply Ice Armor. You’re going to take hits, and this gives you a chance of getting a free barrier when you do, which is both an offensive and defensive boon.

There’s no single “magic bullet” legendary mod that makes this build work, but rather an accumulation of mods that all synergize.

World Tier 3 Cold Sorcerer Build: Best Legendary Gear

Legendary gear has a massive effect on your build’s efficacy, and this is due to the legendary mods that spawn on legendary gear. Without these mods, legendary gear aren’t dramatically different from rares (albeit, well-rolled rares), but legendary gear has legendary mods and legendary mods can dramatically alter the way skills and debuffs work, to name a few. Naturally the key things we’re looking for are legendary mods that boost the functionality of the skills this build focuses on (Frost Bolt, Ice Shards, Blizzard, Frost Nova, Deep Freeze, etc), and anything that boosts the efficacy of our combat style, in general - bonuses to enemies that are chilled or frozen being a prime example.

While it may be slow at first, you’ll eventually start accumulating legendary gear at a respectable pace as you advance through the game’s story campaign. If you get a good legendary mod on a less-than-ideal piece of gear, keep it stashed, as you can always visit the Occultist and transfer the legendary mods from one piece of gear to another. Legendary gear is the currency of power heading into - and throughout much of - World Tier 3, and it’ll be our focus for this build. If you find some great [unique items], use them, but these are largely considered extraneous until you start looking towards World Tier 4.

Below you’ll find a list of the various legendary mods we consider useful for this build. They’re not all created equal, and some are considerably better than others. That said, one great legendary mod might help, but a potent build is a snowball effect created by accumulating numerous legendary mods, which then work in tandem to make your entire build far stronger than it would otherwise be with lesser gear. Don’t fret over one particular mod and equip what you have - we made it deep into World Tier 3 without getting a legendary with the “Frostblitz” mod. It would have helped, but wasn’t necessary, despite arguably being one of the better mods you can get for this build.

  • Conceited: Deal [15 – 25]% increased damage while you have a Barrier active. A bit of an odd one, your Ice Shards skill should already synergize with Ice Armor, counting enemies as frozen any time you have a barrier active, gaining +25% damage and guaranteed ricochet. This further boosts that bonus, which is welcome, but this mod goes from decent, if conditional, to great if you also have the Protection passive, which gives you a barrier any time you use a cooldown. This is after Ice Armor (kind of redundant), Deep Freeze and most importantly, Frost Nova. Since Frost Nova is already your lead-in for peak offense, this is just stacking damage on top of your already stacked damage… albeit for two seconds. Still, you can toss out a lot of Ice Shards in two seconds. Don’t sleep on this one.

  • of Control: You deal [30 – 40]% more damage to Immobilized, Stunned, or Frozen enemies. A no-brainer for this build, your strategy in most fights is to lead with Frost Nova to freeze everything, then pick enemies off with Ice Shards. Getting a massive damage boost when you’re primed to deal the most damage is massive.

  • of Efficiency: Casting a Basic Skill reduces the Mana cost of your next Core Skill by [10 – 20]%. Under ideal circumstances, you’ll rarely need this. Sadly, not all enemies are polite enough to die after a few Ice Shards, and fights will devolve into skirmishes where you’re using Frost Bolt while low on mana, punctuated by bouts of Ice Shards as enemies freeze and/or your mana recovers. This helps boost your options when you’re not at peak offense.

  • Encased: While Deep Freeze is active, you restore [10 – 20]% of your Maximum Life and Mana per second. While it may not look like much, this gives you a full heal every time you use Deep Freeze, not to mention progress towards refreshing your cooldowns. Taking a big hit when your offense is on the recharge isn’t great, but it happens - this puts your back in a strong position, gives you another round of peak offense, and saves potion consumption. Quite handy, even if you can only abuse it once every minute or so.

  • Everliving: You take [20 – 25]% less damage from Crowd Controlled or Vulnerable enemies. Chilled and frozen enemies are both “crowd controlled”, and this optimistically includes most enemies you’ll be fighting. Following this build, enemies will also be Vulnerable immediately after you hit them with a Frost Nova. Granted, they’ll also be frozen, and won’t be attacking anyways, and when bosses are stunned they can’t attack, so there are some serious blind spots with this. Still, you get a damage boost against foes you regularly debuff, so it’s not a bad mod to have, just probably not one of the mods you’ll really want.

  • of the Expectant: Attacking enemies with a Basic Skill increases the damage of your next Core Skill cast by [5 – 10]%, up to 30%. You’ll use Frost Bolt a good bit in this build, usually after expending all your mana during peak offense, but also against stragglers, or while you’re trying to build up a boss’s stun gauge. Being able to empower the next Ice Shards by using Frost Bolt is perhaps an underappreciated boon, as it rewards you for following this build’s core gameplay loop. Extra potent if you also have the Rapid and of Efficiency mods.

  • Frostblitz: Frost Nova gains an additional Charge but the Cooldown per Charge is increased by [30 – 40]%. Frozen enemies find it notoriously difficult to damage you, which is why Frost Nova is a defensive skill, but every bit of this build’s offense benefits when levied against frozen enemies, making this skill an essential all-rounder. Yes, the cooldown is increased, but having two charges of this more than makes up for the delay.

  • Glacial: When you cast Blizzard it will periodically spawn exploding Ice Spikes that deal [variable] damage. Your Ice Spikes deal 38% increased damage to Frozen enemies. Adds more damage to your Blizzard. Always a welcome boon.

  • of Piercing Cold: Ice Shards pierce [X] times, dealing [20 – 25]% less damage per subsequent enemy hit. With the right upgrades, your Ice Shards should already ricochet - giving them the ability to pierce just makes this skill’s AoE even more silly. Absolutely stellar find for a cold Sorcerer.

  • Prodigy’s: Using a Cooldown restores [15 – 25] Mana. While this build doesn’t abuse cooldowns enough to make this broken, your peak offense is always kicked off by using a cooldown - usually Frost Nova, but Ice Armor also helps. Getting a mana boost in this scenario is a nice boon, especially if you have the Frostblitz mod giving you a second Frost Nova charge.

  • Rapid: Basic Skills gain +[15 – 30]% Attack Speed. Frost Bolt gets overshadowed by Blizzard and Ice Shards, but when the right upgrades, when striking chilled or frozen enemies it explodes, turning into, effectively, a cold-damage variant of Fireball. Fine, good, cool…. But it also hits like a truck, can regenerate mana and has no mana cost of its own. With this mod, you can shoot out Frost Bolts surprisingly fast, dealing significant damage and quickly refilling your mana. This might be a general legendary mod, and one that doesn’t enhance on of this build’s marquee skills, but with it Frost Bolt becomes incredibly lethal. Don’t overlook its ability to enhance Frost Bolt’s utility and offensive output.

  • Snowguard’s: While within your own Blizzard, you take [10 – 15]% less damage. Somewhat situational, but it’s a fair bit of damage reduction and when dealing with aggressive melee mobs you’ll probably find yourself confined within the effects of your own Blizzard - might as well benefit from it.

  • of the Umbral: Restore [1 – 4] of your Primary Resource when you Crowd Control an enemy. Crowd control means chilled or frozen. You’ll be doing this all the time, and this build can be pretty mana hungry. It allows Frost Nova to restore a good bit of mana, and rewards you for using your other offensive skills. On the downside, it needs to roll high (3-4) to be of any real use, and it’s not terribly effective against bosses.

  • of Unwavering: Taking direct damage has a [2 – 6]% chance to reset the Cooldown of one of your Defensive Skills. You’re going to get hit, and your defensive skills (Frost Nova and Ice Armor) both help you survive subsequent hits and retaliate. Not super dependable, and this does really need to be in the 5-6% range to bother with, but it can help out from time to time.

Legendary mods are more important than stats (mostly, most of the time), but finding an item that just stacks useful stats is always welcome… at worst they can be imbued with a legendary mod of your choosing.

World Tier 3 Ice Shards Sorcerer Build: Stat Priority

All gear is not created equal, with rare and legendary gear spawning with 3-4 random mods. It’s somewhat of a downer when you get a legendary with a good mod but stats that don’t help your build… but we digress. This section of the build guide will point out what stats you should look out for:

  • Cold Damage: All your damage is cold damage, making this a flat damage boost, and potentially a significant one.
  • Core Skill Damage: Ice Shards is your top damage dealer during peak offense, great for both mobs and bosses. Anything that boosts its damage is excellent, and this mod can increase said damage massively.
  • Damage to Crowd Controlled Enemies: This is just stacking damage mods from debuffs, as chilled and frozen enemies are both considered “crowd controlled”. The bonus for this tends to be higher than the one for Chilled/Frozen enemies (see below) and applies to more debuffs, what’s not to like?
  • Damage to Chilled/Frozen Enemies: This build gains significant damage boosts to chilled and frozen enemies just from its skills, and seeks to chill and freeze enemies as a matter of course. Any boosts against these enemies is the next best thing to a flat damage boost - it’s functionally not far off.
  • Basic Skill Damage: Don’t neglect Frost Bolt, it hits hard and against chilled enemies it has some AoE. With the right legendaries and stats this goes from a filler skill to something rather special.
  • +Skills: Standouts are Ice Shards, Blizzard and Frost Bolt (or boosts the the entire skill tier), but improving Frost Nova will also lower its cooldown, making it beneficial.
  • Cooldown Reduction: Your offense and defense are both governed by defensive skills, primarily Frost Nova. Anything that reduces cooldowns is helpful.
  • Vulnerable Damage: Frost Nova inflicts the Vulnerable debuff, and it’s the go-to lead-in for this build’s peak offense. Granting yourself more damage when you want it most is a good thing.
  • Lucky Hit Chance: Sort of build dependent, but there are a few passives that proc based on Lucky Hit. Boost your Lucky Hit Chance and these proc more often, inflicting freeze or resetting the cooldowns of your Defensive skills.
  • Intelligence: Intelligence boosts your skill damage by +0.1% per point. If you can cobble together 100 Intelligence on your gear, that’s a flat +10% damage bonus with your skills. Not as good as other damage-boosting mods, but not irrelevant either.

(1 of 2) For World Tier 3, you want to seek out nodes that give boosts to useful stats and glyph nodes,

For World Tier 3, you want to seek out nodes that give boosts to useful stats and glyph nodes, (left), ultimately adding the Icefall board for its excellent legendary node. (right)

World Tier 3 Ice Shards Sorcerer Build: Paragon Levels

After you hit level 50, you’ll stop gaining Skill Points when you level, instead earning Paragon Points - one Paragon Point every time you fill 1/4 of your experience bar, or four Paragon Points per experience level. The core concept is initially simple, you can spend a Paragon Point to unlock a node, which gives you a bonus of some sort. There are common, magic, rare and legendary nodes, and the rarer the node, the greater the bonus it’ll yield. Regardless, each node only costs one Paragon Point to unlock, so you’ll want to pick your way across each board, beelining towards the rarest nodes while making the best, most efficient choices you can with the normal nodes.

For the Sorcerer, this means grabbing Intelligence wherever possible, as it boosts your skill damage. Anything that improves your cold damage is also welcome, but this will mostly be found on magic and rare nodes, which you should scope out ahead of time and plot your course towards. Since this build is mostly focused on World Tier 3, it’s only concerned with your Paragon Points up until level 70, which is around 80 Paragon Points. This is enough to cross the first board (go up the left side to get the Non-Physical Damage nodes), claim the glyph node as you do, and make your way to the gate. This will take a few levels to accomplish.

Once you reach the gate you’ll be able to add a new board, and there are two cold-focused ones: Frigid Fate and Icefall. Icefall has by far the better legendary node of the two, giving you a barrier for 5 seconds every time you kill a frozen enemy. If you’ve read anything above, this should proc all the time, and if you invest your skill points correctly, you should gain a variety of boons while you have a barrier. Not only that, but you can access rare nodes that boost cold damage, deal extra damage to chilled enemies… all sorts of good stuff. Just pick your way to this legendary node, then work towards the aforementioned rare nodes, making some detours to reach glyph nodes as the opportunity arises. This will be an ongoing process, and you won’t likely won’t be done with this board by the time you’re ready to move onto World Tier 4.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Blizzard Entertainment
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, PS5, XB One, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    15 March 2023
  • Last Updated
    11 November 2023
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Diablo IV is the ultimate action RPG experience with endless evil to slaughter, countless abilities to master, nightmarish dungeons, and legendary loot. This guide for Diablo 4 currently contains the following:

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