Sorcerer 5e

The DnD 5e Sorcerer Guide

What is this guide?

This guide is meant as a deep dive into the DnD 5e Sorcerer. For a quick overview on the Sorcerer Class, see our breakdown of the DnD 5e Classes.

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your Sorcerer. This color-coding isn’t a hard and fast rule; there are plenty of sub-optimized options out there that will be viable to your party and will be fun to play.

  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange is an OK option
  • Green is a good option
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

So if you’re ready, thank your father for marrying a dragon and giving you crazy, magical powers.

D&D 5e Sorcerer Overview

Playstyle

Sorcerers are different from Wizards in that their magic comes from innate magical talent passed down through their bloodline rather than studying the arcane arts.

Sorcerers have a relatively short spell list, fewer spells they can learn when leveling up, and fewer spell slots when compared to Wizards. This is made up for by their versatility in spellcasting using the Metamagic ability. This ability allows Sorcerers to do things like duplicate spells, weave spells around friendlies, or recover used spell slots.

If you can look at the Sorcerer spell list, find ten spells that you are happy casting all day, every day, and aren’t going to constantly regret not having a dozen other spells available, then the Sorcerer will be a great choice.

Strengths

Sorcerers are full casters and are constantly compared to Wizards because both classes are entirely focused on spellcasting. The way they differ from the Wizard is a somewhat restricted spell list, the Fonts of Magic/Metamagic class features, and differently formulated subclasses.

The Sorcerer’s main class feature revolves around unique resources called Sorcery Points. Sorcery Points allow them to manipulate their spellcasting in unique ways, making their already practical spellcasting even more effective.

Much like Wizards, Sorcerers have access to all of the best damage dealing spells. This, combined with the Sorcerer’s Metamagic, allows them to go “nova” and deal out massive amounts of damage in a single burst.

Weaknesses

As mentioned above, Sorcerers have a restricted spell list compared to Wizards. Much like Druids, they learn spells as they level up and cannot learn any more until the next level up. This means that Sorcerers won’t have the utility that some other casters do, but the decrease in variety is certainly made up for in the buff to sheer damage and utility Sorcerer Points can provide.

As with other full casters, Sorcerers are susceptible to melee damage as they have low AC and hit points. They also have to manage their resources more effectively than melee classes. If your party is having a particularly bad day with no time for a Long Rest, Sorcerers can run out of spell slots and Sorcery Points quite easily, meaning they will have to rely on weaker, non-limited spells called cantrips.

Before You Start

Standard Races

Sorcerers rely on a high CHA score to be at their maximum effectiveness. They also don’t get a huge pool of spells to learn, so any races that can provide additional spells will put Sorcerers at an automatic advantage.

Dragonborn: The STR boost will be wasted but the CHA is what you are looking for. Shame the CHA bonus is only +1 or else this class would be an amazing choice. A damage resistance and Breath Weapon is a good bonus.

Dwarf: No CHA is tough and the Sorcerer won’t be tanking any time soon. Additional hitpoints are always helpful.

  • Hill: A bonus to WIS can occasionally help with Wisdom saves, but additional hitpoints aren’t useful.
  • Mountain: STR on a Sorcerer? Get outta here. Medium Armor proficiency just isn’t worth it.

Elf: Elves get a DEX bonus which can somewhat help the miserable AC of a Sorcerer.

  • Drow Elf: Nice CHA bonus but sunlight sensitivity is not a fun time.
  • High Elf: High Elves get an INT boost and a free cantrip of your choice. Sorcerers get plenty of cantrips and the INT bonus isn’t useful.
  • Wood Elf: Again, a WIS bonus doesn’t help much and the increased walking speed is easily made irrelevant by spells.

Gnome: An Ability Score increase of 2 in INT isn’t going to help.

  • Forest: Nothing for a sorcerer
  • Rock: Nothing for a sorcerer

Half-Elf: The +2 CHA, ASI, and skill versatility make this is one of the better races for the Sorcerer class. 

Half-Orc: STR and CON bonuses, let’s move on.

Halfling: The DEX bonus again marginally helps with AC problems and the Lucky trait is always nice to have, though it won’t be as effective when you are forcing monsters to make saves.

  • Lightfoot: CHA is nice and Naturally Stealthy helps, but there are better options.
  • Stout: Let your beefy party members worry about CON. 

Human: Humans are always decent.

  • Vanilla: A middle of the road pick because they increase all their ability scores by 1.
  • Variant: Getting bonus CHA plus a proficiency and a feat at first level is typically really good. Feats aren’t great for Sorcerers which makes this choice a bit less appealing.

Tiefling: Tieflings get a boost to CHA, fire resistance,  a free cantrip, and free spells at higher levels. They are a great class for Sorcerers.

Non-Standard Races

Aarakocra: The only beneficial thing here is flight.

Aasimar: Any of the subraces will work for Sorcerers. Fallen and Protector are the best for sure.

Changelings: +2 CHA is the best stat boost for a pure CHA caster, and the free ability score increase can be used on either DEX or CON depending on your needs. Since they have access to so many spells, a Sorcerer could use Shapechanger in combination with a whole host of Illusion spells to make a pretty sly character.

Half-Elf

  • Mark of Storm: Certainly a tempting subrace because it offers a number of spells while keeping with a solid ability mod bonus.

Kalashtar: Because the Kalashtar’s racial traits are so good, having only +1 to CHA is acceptable.

Simic Hybrids: CHA is your only reasonable option for the flexible ability score. Carapace is a good choice for the squishier caster classes.

Tabaxi: DEX makes the class less squishy and CHA is the most important ability score for Sorcerers. The rest of the racial traits are very movement-focused, with some solid proficiencies thrown in.

Tiefling:

  • Bloodline of Asmodeus: Good spell list but the ASI to INT will likely go to waste.
  • Bloodline of Dispater: DEX is a good ASI to help AC, stealth, etc. and the spell list is alright.
  • Bloodline of Glasya: DEX ASI and some great spells.
  • Bloodline of Levistus: CON ASIs are always welcome as they mean more HP. The spells are solid as well.

Tritons: CON and CHA are really the only two ability scores that Sorcerers need to worry about outside of a little bit of DEX. Control Air and Water gives you a few more spells to play with.

Warforged: Most Sorcerers don’t want to be taking too many hits, but the increased durability will be nice to have on many occasions. They also only really care about CHA so the free ASI choice is obvious. You will need to do some mental gymnastics on making this work in terms of roleplay, though. The way Sorcerers gain their power is through bloodlines and references souls, so your Warforged may need to come to terms with existential dilemmas.

Yuan-ti Purebloods: Yuan-ti Purebloods have everything a Sorcerer could want: +2 to CHA, innate spells, and some fantastic defensive traits to keep you alive.

Ability Scores

Ability Score Increases (ASI) at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level.

Sorcerers need CHA. They have a miserable hit dice so CON is a good secondary pick.

STR: No use beefing out your Sorcerer.

DEX: Early AC can help survivability, but there are better options.

CON: More hitpoints and better CON saves make the Sorcerer less squishy and less likely to lose concentration on spells.

INT: Who needs INT when you’re naturally gifted?

WIS: Can help with WIS saves and Perception.

CHA: Your spellcasting modifier and great for face skills.

Sorcerer Class Progression

1st Level

Hit Points: Sorcerers have a measly d6 hit dice. You can somewhat mitigate this by increasing CON since you only need to worry about CHA as your main stat.

Saves: A proficiency in CON saving throws is awesome for casters because they are used for Concentration checks. CHA saves are much less common but can keep you from being banished at later levels.

Proficiencies: No armor proficiencies and the weapon choice is barely worth mentioning. But you weren’t really hoping to swing a greatsword with your Sorcerer, were you?

Skills: Unfortunately the Sorcerer only gets to pick two skills.

  • Arcana (INT): You will probably be the party member who is relied on for Arcana checks, and great flavor too.
  • Deception (CHA): Very solid social skill that meshes with your stacked CHA.
  • Insight (INT): Insight is a solid skill but it doesn’t do well with your dropped INT.
  • Intimidation (CHA): Usually the least useful social skill. Can be mitigated by your proficiency in either Deception or Persuasion.
  • Persuasion (CHA): Another great social skill. Depending on your build, you will likely either choose this or Deception.
  • Religion (INT): Not as crucial as Arcana for an INT based skill.

Spellcasting: If you want to cast spells you’ve come to the right place. Sorcerers are a full caster. Unfortunately, they don’t get to learn as many spells as most of the other caster classes.

Sorcerous Origins: At 1st-level Sorcerers get to choose their Sorcerous Origins. All of these options have their merits and playstyle.

Aberrant Mind

  • 1st Level
    • Psionic Spells: This spell list focuses on battlefield control, psychic damage, and telepathic communication. TCoE also allows you to switch any of these spells out for any divination or enchantment spells from the Warlock, Wizard, or Sorcerer class. The biggest thing to take away from this feature is that it gets your Sorcerer access to 10 more spells, which is a massive increase from the typical 15 spell limit of 20th-level Sorcerers.
      • Cantrips
        • Mind Sliver: INT saves aren’t common proficiencies and psychic damage isn’t a common resistance. Sure, the damage isn’t as appealing as something like firebolt, but the d4 reduction from the next saving throw is effective in lower tiers of play.
      • 1st
        • Arms of Hadar: Decent AoE with a short-range that will allow you to escape a group of enemies if they fail their save. This is a spell you don’t want to have to use.
        • Dissonant Whispers: One of the best 1st-level spells in the game. If you can cause an opportunity attack with this it becomes extremely powerful.
      • 3rd
        • Calm Emotions: The fact that this spell has two different use cases makes it decent, even if those events may not come up too often. Enemies often have effects that charm or frighten in an area of effect, so being able to suppress those effects also in an area of your choosing could save your whole party. When used on enemies, you can make them non-hostile for a whole minute, giving you enough time to escape. The main issue with this spell is the concentration and the relatively small radius.
        • Detect Thoughts: Useful spell for interrogations, or to determine if there are any hidden creatures near your location.
      • 5th
        • Hunger of Hadar: Decent crowd control option, solid damage if you can keep baddies in there or cast it at a choke point. It has been confirmed by Jeremy Crawford that the Devil’s Sight Invocation cannot see into the spell’s area.
        • Sending: Solid communication spell for at least one party member to have.
      • 7th
        • Evard’s Black Tentacles: Crowd control that grants the Restrained condition and continuous damage depending on if you can keep enemies in the area.
        • Summon Aberration: Great summon option with a good amount of versatility. The Beholderkin provides flight and ranged attacks, Slaad can tank and has decent melee damage, and Star Spawn provides psychic damage and AoE.
      • 9th
        • Rary’s Telepathic Bond: This can be helpful when the party gets into a tricky circumstance and needs to be able to discuss amongst themselves without “table talking”.
        • Telekinesis: This is a great spell to have perpetually stocked. Toss enemies around the battlefield or crush your enemies with a giant rock.
    • Telepathic Speech: Essentially free Sending as long as the creature is within 3oft. This will end up being helpful, but it won’t have a massive impact.
  • 6th Level
    • Psionic Sorcery: This will allow you to get a lot more mileage out of your sorcerery points than converting them to spell slots with Font of Magic. An added bonus is that it allows you to cast without verbal, somatic, and material components (as long as the components are expended) which is a better version of the Subtle Spell metamagic.
    • Psychic Defenses: Resistance to a relatively common damage type and advantage on saving throws against two common conditions.
  • 14th Level
    • Revelation in Flesh: This feature provides a ton of utility. Being able to see invisible creatures, fly, swim, breathe underwater, and get out of restraints for the equivalent of a 1st-level spell AND as a bonus action can get a lot of mileage.
  • 18th Level
    • Warping Implosion: 120ft teleportation with a 30ft AoE effect from the space you left may seem awesome, and it definitely can be, but the issue is that this could easily get shut down if you have party members within 30ft that you don’t want to target. If you can pull this off, it can easily set up massive AoE attacks with the Quickened Spell metamagic.

Clockwork Soul

  • 1st Level
    • Clockwork Magic: This spell list focuses on buff and healing spells. TCoE also allows you to switch any of these spells out for any abjuration or transmutation spells from the Warlock, Wizard, or Sorcerer class. The biggest thing to take away from this feature is that it gets your Sorcerer access to 10 more spells, which is a massive increase from the typical 15 spell limit of 20th-level Sorcerers.
      • 1st
        • Alarm: Situational, could be used when taking long rests or protecting a guarded area.
        • Protection from Evil and Good: You love to see this spell in any party, especially when you get it for free. The creature types this affects are very common so this spell will likely be useful in your campaign.
      • 3rd
        • Aid: Proactive healing rather than reactive healing and at a higher, guaranteed rate than Cure Wounds. 5 hit points can make a huge difference in keeping the party alive, and the spell doesn’t require concentration. Can be cast at higher levels.
        • Lesser Restoration: Diseases and conditions do come up from time to time, so you’ll be happy to have this when they do.
      • 5th
        • Dispel Magic: Just like Detect Magic, every party should have a character with this spell at their disposal.
        • Protection from Energy: This is typically outshined by Absorb Elements except in the specific circumstances when you are constantly being subjected to a type of damage.
      • 7th
        • Freedom of Movement: It’s nice to give extra movement options to allies, but there are better buff spells and this one is pretty situational.
        • Summon Construct: All of the options are fairly tanky but the Heated Body option is definitely the best feature.
      • 9th
        • Greater Restoration: Great spell to have that can get you or party members out of very tricky situations.
        • Wall of Force: You’re just making a wall. So what? You can split up opposing forces, hide behind an impenetrable wall, or make a dome over your party. It is immune to dispel magic but can be disintegrated.
    • Restore Balance: Being able to negate another creature’s advantage or disadvantage can help prevent massive swings in ability checks, saving throws, and attacks. This is a very versatile feature that can be used to buff party members and debuff enemies from range as a reaction.
  • 6th Level
    • Bastion of Law: Essentially variable temporary hitpoints. With an average of 4.5 damage reduction with each sorcery points spent, it puts it at slightly less effective than Aid (2nd-level spell costs 3 sorcery points). Bastion of Law could end up lasting longer if you cast it at the beginning of the day, but 5hp likely won’t last that long.
  • 14th Level
    • Trance of Order: This is an extremely strong feature that can cause a failed attack, ability check, or saving throw to easily succeed. Unfortunately, Sorcerers just aren’t the type of class to put themselves into positions that require these all that often. Most of their spells cause saving throws, they don’t get a lot of proficient abilities, and they are hopefully out of the fray enough to avoid saving throws. The same goes for negating attacks made with advantage.
  • 18th Level
    • Clockwork Cavalcade: This is essentially a Heal or Mass Cure wounds level spell combined with hyped-up Dispel Magic that can end any spell of 6th-level or lower without having to make a check against it. These effects will be huge when getting into those higher-tier boss fights when enemies are slinging around damage and conditions like they are going out of style. The repairing broken objects feature is cool but won’t have nearly the same level of effect as the previous two mentioned effects.

Divine Soul

  • 1st Level
    • Divine Magic: Getting access to an entirely new set of spells will provide a ton of utility, even more so because of how good the Cleric spell list is. The only downside is the lack of known spells for Sorcerers will make it hard to pick and choose.
      • Good: Cure Wounds – Access to healing is great for a class that usually has none
      • Evil: Inflict Wounds – Great single target damage spell that scales really well and can crit. Unfortunately, it is touch range and does necrotic damage which can become less useful at higher levels.
      • Law: Bless – Easily one of the best buffs in the game.
      • Chaos: Bane – Great debuff
      • Neutrality: Protection from Evil and Good – Great single target buff.
    • Favored by the Gods: Adding 2d4 to a missed attack or failed saving throw once per short rest is incredibly useful in defensive and offensive situations.
  • 6th Level
    • Empowered Healing: Solid ability that is limited by the 5ft range. 
  • 14th Level
    • Otherworldly Wings: Flight is one of the biggest advantages you can gain in a fight.
  • 18th Level
    • Unearthly Recovery: This is a lot of healing for a bonus action and no spell slot.

Draconic Bloodline

  • 1st Level
    • Dragon Ancestor: This great guide goes into detail on the number of spells and monsters that have resistances to certain type of damage. Note: this may not be completely up to date but provides a rough idea.
      • Acid: 17 Spells, 29 Resistant, 21 Immune – Middle of the pack spell, resistant and immunity count. You can also take Elemental Adept.
      • Cold: 24 Spells, 85 Resistant, 33 Immune – Definitely not a great pick if you look at the numbers.
      • Fire: 34 Spells, 74 Resistant, 32 Immune, 14 Vulnerable – The most spells but also the most resistances. Taking Elemental Adept is necessary for this build but makes it very powerful at the same time. 
      • Lightning: 19 Spells, 70 Resistant, 32 Immune – Much less spell choice than fire or cold and a similar amount of Resistances and Immunities.
      • Poison: 10 Spells, 17 Resistant, 173 Immune – Yikes. The least amount of spells and SO many immunities.
    • Draconic Resilience: The HP is negligible but the unarmored AC is greatly needed.
  • 6th Level
    • Elemental Affinity: This can be huge damage when combined with AoE spells because you get to add your CHA multiple times. Gaining resistance for an hour for one sorcery point is also great economy.
  • 14th Level
    • Dragon Wings: Bonus action, non concentration flight is straight up gold. 
  • 18th Level
    • Draconic Presence: Sorcery points are a very needed resource but at this level you have 18 to throw around. This is essentially a 5th level spell slot for a 120ft radius Fear spell, which is very powerful crowd control and much more range than the 3rd level version.

Shadow Magic

  • 1st Level
    • Eyes of the Dark: 120ft Darkvision is good in itself. Being able to pay 2 sorcery points to be able to see in it will allow you to get advantage (and give everything else disadvantage). This is an extremely strong combo to have at 1st level and works well at higher levels.
    • Strength of the Grave: This will certainly be effective at early levels. At high levels, you could easily be hit for 30 damage, making this ability useless.
  • 6th Level
    • Hound of Ill Omen: Only being able to target one creature with this is somewhat limiting so it won’t be useful in fights with lots of smaller creatures. This can come in handy against a stronger opponent.
  • 14th Level
    • Shadow Walk: Unlimited teleportation as a bonus action is amazing. Not quite as good as flight because you have to be in darkness or dim light. Knowing the Darkness spell can certainly help with your escapes.
  • 18th Level
    • Umbral Form: At 18th level, force and radiant damage are common but this is still an absolutely amazing ability.

Storm Sorcery

  • 1st Level
    • Wind Speaker: Four free languages has a chance of being useful at some point in your campaign.
    • Tempestuous Magic: A nice “get out of jail free card” if you ever find yourself in melee combat.
  • 6th Level
    • Heart of the Storm: Extra damage within 10ft, combined with Tempestuous Magic, is actually a fairly good combo. The resistances are nice.
    • Storm Guide: This can make you look cool but that’s about it.
  •   14th Level
    • Storm’s Fury: Another useful ability if you find yourself in melee combat, which Sorcerers really don’t want to do.
  • 18th Level
    • Wind Soul: Immunity to a common type of and free flying speed, forever. You can also share this ability with friends. This is definitely the best capstone ability out of any of the Sorcerer Origins.

Wild Magic

  • 1st Level
    • Wild Magic Surge: This is a random effect that generates random results and is impossible to rate.
    • Tides of Chaos: Essentially a free, once-a-day Lucky.
  • 6th Level
    • Bend Luck: On reaction Bardic Inspiration/Cutting Words is great. Limiting to a d4 certainly hurts the abilities effectiveness but it will come in clutch very often. 
  • 14th Level
    • Controlled Chaos: Again, very random, but a bit more in your favor.
  • 18th Level
    • Spell Bombardment: This is at most 5.5 extra damage. This is quite a weak capstone ability.

2nd Level

Fonts of Magic: With Sorcerers, flexibility is the name of the game. You might not get access to as many utility spells, but your damage spells are going to be more applicable and more effective than other casting classes. Fonts of Magic provides flexibility to create more spell slots, or use sorcery points to manipulate your spells with Meta Magic. Keep in mind, you have to finish a long rest to get your sorcery points back.

3rd Level

Meta Magic: As mentioned before, Sorcerers are mainly focused on damage dealing and it shows in the Metamagic abilities. Most of the abilities allow you to hit enemies harder, faster, and more effectively than other casting classes. You gain access to 2 of these at 3rd Level

  • Careful Spell: For 1 sorcery point you can weave your big AoE blasts around your party members. This is something that takes an entire subclass dip for Wizards.
  • Distant Spell: Doubling the range of ranged spells and getting 30ft of range on touch spell can be useful in a pinch.
  • Empowered Spell: This can be nice in situations where you roll a 1 on something like Inflict Wounds. Rerolling a d10 can net way more damage.
  • Extended Spell: There just aren’t a lot of good uses for this since most buffs last long enough for combat and don’t have much use lasting longer.
  • Heightened Spell: Invoking disadvantage on saving throws is a great mechanism when you really want a spell to hit.
  • Quickened Spell: Casting your favorite spells as a bonus action is awesome for action economy. Keep in mind that you can only cast a cantrip for your main action spell if you cast a spell as a bonus action.
  • Seeking Spell: Seeing as this is for spells that use spell attacks vs saving throws it won’t come up quite as often or be used for less powerful spells.
  • Subtle Spell: The best use of this is certainly circumventing Counterspell, it’s a worthwhile pick if you are constantly going up against spellcasters that are interfering with you casting your spells. This can also be useful for casting spells while hidden or bound and gagged.
  • Transmuted Spell: Seeing as fire is a common resistance and is common in high damage spells, changing your spells damage type can be used to make your big damage spells hit for full damage.
  • Twinned Spell: Being able to twin a spell like Haste is a completely amazing ability. A useful option for buffing damage of cantrips on the cheap as well.

You gain another Metamagic option at 10th and 17th level.

4th Level

Sorcerous Versatility: Change out underperforming cantrips or metamagics at every level, which is something your DM would typically allow you to do anyway. This optional feature has been introduced to each class in some capacity in TCoE.

5th Level

Magical Guidance: Use sorcery points as a pseudo-Lucky feat for ability checks only. Sorcerers are sorely lacking ability proficiencies so this will help to offset them.

20th Level

Sorcerous Restoration: It’s not a particularly impressive capstone ability but it can be useful for a long adventuring day at 20th-level.

Best Sorcerer Feats

Many feats aren’t suited to the Sorcerer Class, but we will go over the ones that you may consider.

  • Alert: Being up higher in the initiative order can be very valuable for a Sorcerer.
  • Eldritch Adept: Great option to pick up Armor of Shadows for a free Mage Armor whenever you want it.
  • Elemental Adept: The bonus damage is negligible but if most of your damage comes from one element then go for it. This is a must-have for Draconic Bloodline (Fire) Sorcerers.
  • Fey Touched: Misty Step is a great spell and an extra 2nd-level spell goes a long way because of the Sorcerer’s reduced spell list. Plus, you get to increase your CHA. This is a go-to option if you end up with an odd CHA score after character creation.
  • Flames of Phlegethos: Tieflings make great Sorcerers and this feat provides a ton of value for Tiefling Sorcerers. Pump your CHA, get a bit extra fire damage, and create some protection against melee attacks.
  • Inspiring Leader: As a Sorcerer, you’ll have plenty of CHA to go around. Consider this after you’ve maxed your CHA for some extra party support.
  • Lucky: Lucky is a feat that is useful to any character, but is less good for spellcasters.
  • Metamagic Adept: Sorcerers only ever get 3 metamagic options, this provides Sorcerers with more versatility on top of a few extra sorcery points.
  • Resilient: A Sorcerer doesn’t need a proficiency in CON because they already have one.
  • Shadow Touched: Invisibility is a great spell and an extra 2nd-level spell goes a long way because of the Sorcerer’s reduced spell list. Plus, you get to increase your CHA. This is a go-to option if you end up with an odd CHA score after character creation.
  • Spell Sniper: Increased range can be covered with metamagic, and ignoring cover on spell attacks isn’t enough to pick this feat.
  • Telekinetic: The Mage Hand, even with the shove buff, isn’t as good as either Misty Step from Fey Touched or Invisibility from Shadow Touched. A very flavorful pickup for the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer.
  • Telepathic: The Detect Thoughts, even with the shove buff, isn’t as good as either Misty Step from Fey Touched or Invisibility from Shadow Touched. Don’t bother with this if you’ve gone with the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer.
  • War Caster: Advantage on CON saves won’t be as necessary with the Sorcerer’s proficiency in CON saves. Casting spells as opportunity attacks is a beneficial component of this feat but likely won’t get used much because Sorcerers prefer not to be in melee range.

Best Sorcerer Spells

Sorcerers have access to a lot of spells. Therefore, we think it would be the most beneficial to only talk about our favorite spells at each level, and which ones to avoid. Just remember that this doesn’t mean the ones we don’t mention are necessarily bad or don’t have a purpose. For your particular campaign, your mileage may vary.

For a full list of Sorcerer spells click here.

Cantrips

  • Acid Splash: Can target multiple creatures.
  • Booming Blade: Not effective for Sorcerers.
  • Green-Flame Blade: Not effective for Sorcerers.
  • Chill Touch: Great for trolls and vampires that regenerate health.
  • Create Bonfire: Good damage and battlefield control.
  • Fire Bolt: Pick this if you need a damage-dealing cantrip.
  • Lightning Lure: Sorcerers don’t want to be pulling creatures closer to them.
  • Mage Hand: Good utility.
  • Message: Often pointless due to unavoidable metagaming, but for roleplaying purposes it’s great.
  • Mind Sliver: INT saves aren’t common proficiencies and psychic damage isn’t a common resistance. Sure, the damage isn’t as appealing as something like firebolt, but the d4 reduction from the next saving throw is effective in lower tiers of play.
  • Minor Illusion: This cantrip can be the most flexible tool available to a Sorcerer if used creatively.
  • Poison Spray: A saving throw avoids all damage caused by this cantrip. Avoid.
  • Prestidigitation: Good utility.
  • Shocking Grasp: Advantage against metal armor and preventing reactions for a turn bundles damage and utility.
  • Sword Burst: Good AoE damage if you get surrounded.
  • Thunderclap: Good AoE damage but targets a common save and can’t be used while stealthing.
  • True Strike: Wasting a whole turn just to gain advantage on a single creature the next turn is not what you want to be doing.

1st Level Spells

  • Absorb Elements: Great for melee spellcasting builds but less good for Druids.
  • Beast Bond: Concentration AND line of sight to give your animal pals advantage on attacks. Sorry Druids but this isn’t worth it.
  • Burning Hands: One of the better AoE damage spells you can get at 1st-level but there are better direct damage spells and better mass effect spells. This is a filler spell that can be great if you catch a group of enemies close together.
  • Chaos Bolt: If you don’t have the money for Chromatic orb, or need a bit more range, this is a decent option.
  • Chromatic Orb: Your go-to damage spell. It has a high cost, though.
  • Detect Magic: Good to have in those situations where you need to find out if something funky is going on.
  • Ice Knife: Good damage spell but nothing special.
  • Illusory Script: Not sure what they were thinking with this one. It does basically nothing.
  • Jump: A very poor mobility spell. Hold off until you get Fly, Spider Climb, or Misty Step.
  • Mage Armor: Can solve some of the Sorcerer’s low AC issues early in a campaign, especially if you have some DEX.
  • Magic Missile: Your standard first-level damage dealer. This spell always hits which is nice.
  • Ray of Sickness: Damage isn’t great but Poisoned is a nasty condition. Unfortunately, the save targets CON which is a common proficient saving throw, and immunity to the Poisoned condition is also fairly common. Don’t try to cast this at Constructs, Fiends, or Undead at the very least.
  • Shield: Slightly stronger than Mage Armor, but only lasts for one round of combat. Very nice that it can get used as a reaction but if your AC is low enough it might not matter.
  • Sleep: Sleep is a spell that sometimes feels overpowered at the beginning of a campaign. With a good roll, you can basically end an encounter in one turn.
  • Tasha’s Caustic Brew: Spells that don’t do damage until the start of the creature’s turn can end up as a wasted spell if they are dealt with before their turn starts.

2nd Level Spells

  • Aganazzar’s Scorcher: Decent AoE spell but is only better than other damage options when you can line up a bunch of enemies.
  • Blur: Not super useful unless you have a decent AC.
  • Cloud of Daggers: If you can get this into a chokepoint you can do amazing damage.
  • Crown of Madness: This spell has a lot of crippling limitations because of its powerful effect at such a small level. Skip this until you can Dominate Monsters.
  • Dragon’s Breath: This spell can be quite effective with the proper setup and in a longer fight. First, you need an animal companion that has an action to use on its turn but no effective attack. The best option for this is a familiar conjured using the Find Familiar spell. Then, you can buff that creature to have a breath weapon that doesn’t use the “attack” action. As long as you maintain your concentration, this allows the familiar to dish out 3d6 damage each turn which is a solid use of a 2nd-level spell slot.
  • Dust Devil: situationally useful if you need to lock off a certain area of the battlefield.
  • Earthbind: If you need to lock down a flying creature and don’t have a way of making it fall prone this is a good option. Useful in very narrow circumstances.
  • Enhance Ability: This spell does it all. Use it when Guidance won’t quite do the trick.
  • Hold Person: This can be encounter-breaking against humanoids. Scales well with levels.
  • Invisibility: Your go-to infiltration spell.
  • Levitate: Can be used to get up high, or completely remove a melee attacker from combat. Levitate can be good at any level.
  • Misty Step: Who doesn’t want to teleport? And you can do so as a bonus action while avoiding opportunity attacks. This spell can save your butt since you won’t have many hit points as a Sorcerer.
  • Scorching Ray: A potential 6d6 focused damage at a 2nd-level spell slot, can target multiple opponents, and has crit potential.
  • Shadow Blade: Typical Sorcerers don’t want any part of melee combat, but if you are going for a Sorcadin this is an amazing option.
  • Suggestion: Never underestimate the power of suggesting a course of action to an NPC. Yes, Mr. Scary Guard, why don’t you give us the keys to your king’s treasure vault?
  • Tasha’s Mind Whip: Mediocre damage, but it can help you break away from an enemy that is pursuing while still doing damage.

3rd Level Spells

  • Clairvoyance: Not many situations will call for this spell but it can be useful for scouting.
  • Counterspell: Always get Counterspell. Even if you don’t want to pick it up as soon as it is available to you, come back and get it at a later level. It can literally save lives when facing a powerful spell caster. 
  • Enemies Abound: Enemies abound only works in fights with more than one enemy, if your allies are willing to ignore that enemy, and if the enemy isn’t immune to being frightened. Really only useful for causing a stir from a hidden position.
  • Erupting Earth: Bad damage compared to Fireball but causes difficult terrain. Situational.
  • Fireball: The gold standard for damage spells in 5e.
  • Fly: More useful than Levitate in many situations, but concentration could make this end badly.
  • Hypnotic Pattern: Great crowd control.
  • Haste: Lovely buff for non-caster party members, just make sure you don’t immediately have your concentration broken and waste a 3rd level spell.
  • Intellect Fortress: Only useful in very specific circumstances. Say, for example, when wandering into a den of Mind Flayers.
  • Lightning Bolt: Just as powerful as Fireball but has a less effective AoE because it’s a line rather than a circle.
  • Melf’s Minute Meteors: Not as good as Flaming Sphere (which is a 2nd-level spell). Sorcerers don’t get access to Flaming Sphere so this is a good option for Sorcerers, especially if you are focusing on a Draconic Bloodline (Fire) Sorcerers.
  • Slow: Awesome debuff.
  • Stinking Cloud: Used in the right circumstances this can be effective, but it is a tough spell to nail.
  • Thunder Step: Great spell in case you are surrounded and need to retreat. You get to damage the enemies and carry a friend with you.
  • Tidal Wave: Mediocre damage but can impose the Prone condition. Useful in the right circumstances.
  • Vampiric Touch: If you’re close enough to an enemy to want to do this small amount of damage, you’re in big trouble.

4th Level Spells

  • Banishment: Get rid of creatures from another plane, or take out a big threat for most of the combat. They have to perform a saving throw, but CHA is often not a high stat for those enemies.
  • Charm Monster: Charm Person, just for any creature. Great for avoiding fights with potentially hostile monsters.
  • Dimension Door: Teleport, with a friend, over a much longer distance than Misty Step. Unfortunately, it’s a full action to cast.
  • Greater Invisibility: Being able to attack or cast spells while invisible is a huge upgrade from regular invisibility. Give it to a melee party member and watch them get advantage on every attack and disadvantage on attacks against them, bonus points if it’s a Paladin.
  • Ice Storm: You already have Fireball, and Ice Storm is weaker. The terrain control doesn’t make the weaker damage worth it.
  • Polymorph: Buff an ally or turn an enemy into a rat while you obliterate his friends!
  • Sickening Radiance: Giving creatures levels of exhaustion seems good on paper but you need at least two failures for this spell to really kick in. Radiance damage is great for getting around a resistance but this spell also targets CON (common save for monsters) and requires concentration.
  • Storm Sphere: Simply an amazing spell. 20ft radius that hits like a greatsword and a bonus action to deal 4d6 every turn.
  • Stoneskin: Effectively double your favorite melee fighter’s HP.
  • Vitriolic Sphere: worse damage than Fireball on a successful save and better any more damage on a failed save.
  • Watery Sphere: Restrain and move around up to four enemies. You can even send them over a cliff to remove them from combat, it won’t kill the creatures in the sphere because they descend at a slow rate.

5th Level Spells

  • Animate Objects: Turn your trash into treasure. Send an army of pebbles at your opponents for 1d4 + 4 damage with +8 attacks.
  • Cloudkill: Not great in an open field but if you can get the drop on an enemy or contain a group of enemies within the spell it can be very effective because it deals damage turn after turn, as long as the caster keeps concentration. It can also be effective to block off a vantage point used by ranged enemies.
  • Cone of Cold: It’s Fireball damage for a 5th Level spell slot, although it is easier to control and to reduce friendly fire than Fireball.
  • Creation: Allows you to make a rope or a rock. Yeah.
  • Enervation: What happens when you cross Witch Bolt with Vampric Touch and make them actually good? The upgraded range is a huge upgrade and being able to damage creatures while healing yourself is twice the value.
  • Far Step: Typically a single Misty Step will work best for Sorcerers who won’t be using this ability on each turn to teleport around the battlefield, using their movement to close in and attack creatures teleporting out of danger.
  • Insect Plague: A better version of Cloudkill in most circumstances due to the difficult terrain and light obscurity.
  • Immolation: Single target Fireball that can damage consistently. The issue comes from the need for concentration and the saving throws the creature gets every turn. If you want Fireball damage, cast Fireball. If you want consistent fire damage cast Heat Metal.
  • Seeming: Disguise your whole party. Not bad when trying to get somewhere you aren’t meant to be.
  • Telekinesis: Pretty versatile, allowing you to move a creature or object. Knock those pesky enemies of yours off a cliff.
  • Telepathic Bond: Allows your party to communicate when they normally wouldn’t be able to.
  • Wall of Stone: Great tool to manipulate the battlefield to your party’s advantage.
  • Wall of Light: Radiant is a great damage type, but 4d8 on a 5th level spell isn’t amazing. The Blinded condition is nice, but is only activated when the spell first appears and doesn’t discriminate between friend and foe. The lasers that you can shoot each following turn use your action and shrink the wall.
  • Synaptic Static: Fireball damage and a debuff rolled into one. Be careful using it on beasts as they are likely to have an INT 2 or less.

6th Level Spells

  • Arcane Gate: Like a badass Dimension Door.
  • Chain Lightning: Great damage and solid control over targets.
  • Circle of Death: Fireball type effect, but at 6th level, necrotic damage, and a CON save to boot. Boo!
  • Disintegrate: Live out your power fantasy as Thanos. The damage can be great, but a successful save negates ALL damage. Still, people love this spell so it needed to be addressed.
  • Investiture of Flame: Damage immunities and resistances are fine but the passive effect has terrible range and the AoE effect is mediocre damage. The biggest issue here is that, if you are using the fire immunity it’s very likely that your enemies are immune to fire damage. Also, requires concentration so you can cast the spell, and lose it before you’re able to use the AoE feature.
  • Investiture of Ice: Damage immunities and resistances are fine but the passive effect has terrible range and is even less effective than the IoF and the AoE effect is mediocre damage. The biggest issue here is that, if you are using the ice immunity it’s very likely that your enemies are immune to ice damage. Also, requires concentration so you can cast the spell, and lose it before you’re able to use the AoE feature.
  • Investiture of Stone: The resistance to bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing are pretty useless in Tier 3 because most creatures will have magical weapons. The passive effect allows you to move through the earth but ejects you if you end your turn there so you can’t travel far distances. The action effect is terrible, it doesn’t even do damage. Also, requires concentration so you can cast the spell, and lose it before you’re able to use any features.
  • Investiture of Wind: One of the better Investitures, but it’s really only effective as a defensive buff. The flight is a great movement buff, and ranged attacks have disadvantage. The action can’t even compete with cantrip damage at this point.  
  • Mass Suggestion: Better than regular Suggestion in many ways. No saving throws, target up to twelve creatures, and a duration of 24 hours.
  • Mental Prison: There are plenty of ways to take single creatures out of the fight, but this provides a way to do some damage while also locking down a creature. Nothing crazy for a 6th-level spell but it’s decent.
  • Globe of Invulnerability: Block all spells 5th level and lower in a 10-foot radius around your Sorcerer. This spell can get really helpful as you start to face more enemies casting spells.
  • Move Earth: Still trying to live out that Minecraft fantasy? Go for it.
  • Scatter: It has uses, but none that are particularly worth a 6th-level spell.
  • Sunbeam: Not a bad spell for those grindy fights. Blinding opponents, repositioning the beam on each turn, disadvantage for undead make this a solid choice.
  • Tasha’s Otherworldly Guise: Bonus action to gain +2 to AC, damage immunities, and flight make this a solid defensive spell. Even though the spell grants the ability to make attacks with CHA and allows you to attack twice, you will rarely use these features as a Sorcerer.
  • True Seeing: Gain the abilities of truesight, spotting secret doors, and seeing into the ethereal plane, all without concentration. This will be effective at some point but a 6th level spell is steep.

7th Level Spells

  • Crown of Stars: Great bonus action damage, long duration, no concentration. Up and down a great spell.
  • Dream of the Blue Veil: This spell has more campaign-derailing, shenanigan potential than just about any other spell short of Wish. Do your DM a favor and let them know your plans before casting this spell. Because this is more of a plot-based spell, it will not receive a rating.
  • Etherealness: This spell allows you to fly or move through solid objects, while not being affected or able to affect creatures not on the Ethereal Plane. You can only target yourself but there is no concentration. Pretty middle of the road all around.
  • Finger of Death: It’s a CON save, but they still take half damage on a success. If you want some single target damage, it’s not a bad pick.
  • Fire Storm: Depending on the size and position of the crowd you are fighting, this can either be insanely big damage or an easy to aim Fireball. Most of the time it will be the latter.
  • Plane Shift: Good utility to run away from a fight that has turned south, or force a CHA save to avoid getting banished.
  • Power Word Pain: You can likely do 100 damage with a 7th-level spell, really only useful if you want to Crucio someone outside of combat.
  • Prismatic Spray: Only 10d6 damage on a failed save, and the damage type is random. This spell just isn’t reliable enough to be worth it.
  • Reverse Gravity: A shenanigan spell if there ever was one. It is hard to position to create max damage but the effects are powerful (and fun) nonetheless.
  • Teleport: Instantly transport yourself and up to eight willing creatures. Of course, there is a chance of a mishap, but a full party teleport is nothing to scoff at.
  • Whirlwind: Great battlefield control, decent damage. 

8th Level Spells

  • Abi-Dalzim’s Horrid Wilting: Essentially just an upcast Fireball. Don’t bother unless you fight a lot of plants.
  • Dominate Monster: Extremely good option to help swing the tides of battle in your favor.
  • Earthquake: There is way too much left up to the DM’s discretion for this spell to be effective in combat. The only use I can see for this spell would be destroying a city.
  • Incendiary Cloud: One of the best options for a choke point. This is insane damage if you can get a crowd to run through it.
  • Power Word Stun: You can auto-stun a creature that has less than 150hp, but they get to make a save at the end of each of their turns.
  • Sunburst: Big damage and nice effect. Great AoE that is somewhat limited by forcing a CON save.

9th Level Spells

  • Blade of Disaster: This is a solid, bonus action, multiturn damage spell that can pay off big time with a couple of crits.
  • Meteor Swarm: Nuke your enemies with this one simple trick! 20d6 fire damage and 20d6 bludgeoning damage, or half on a successful DEX save.
  • Power Word Kill: Very mechanically interesting spell. Essentially, you can auto-kill a creature if they have less than 100hp. Now, as a player, we do not know how much HP a monster has, but an Investigation or Insight check might allow some clues as to whether or not they’re close. Still, Meteor Swarm can do, on average, 140 damage (70 on a save), and can hit multiple creatures so this might not be that worth it.
  • Psychic Scream: Great damage, targets an uncommon save (INT), and stuns on a failed save.
  • Time Stop: You can’t target other creatures during your 1d4 + 1 extra turns, but it’s a great opportunity to move into position and buff yourself.
  • Mass Polymorph: Take up to 10 creatures out of the fight or turn your entire party into T-rexes.
  • Wish: Wish is the best spell in Dnd 5e, hands down. Its regular use allows you to duplicate any other spell at 8th level or lower. However, it can also be used to regain all hitpoints for your whole party, change the outcome of a roll, or gain immunity to a spell. Some DMs may allow you to wish for basically anything, but at the risk of something going terribly wrong. This can make for some really cool deus ex machina moments.

Best Multiclass Options for Sorcerers

Multiclassing is always an opportunity cost, you have to determine if taking a level of another class is worth what you will lose from the original class. Many factors come into this decision, with the main factor being how long your campaign will run and, ultimately, what level you will be playing until. With Sorcerers and other full casters, you want to avoid taking more than 3 multiclass levels, or else you won’t be able to get access to 9th-level spells.

Another thing to take into consideration is the additional class’ primary ability scores. Sorcerers are CHA-based casters and you want to be able to use their high CHA to synergize with the additional class.

Paladin: The Sorcadin is considered one of, if not the most powerful multiclass options in D&D 5e. This build allows for an awesome cross between a tank and a caster and allows for insane nova damage. The most common Sorcadin build is Paladin 2 / Sorcerer 18 which allows you get to get access to armor/shield/weapon proficiencies, Lay on Hands, and smites. Only dipping two levels into Paladin restricts access to some nice Paladin features like Aura of Protection and extra attacks, but it gives access to high-level Sorcerer spell options, plenty of sorcery points, and the Sorcerer Origin capstone feature.

Bard: Three levels in Bard will get you Bardic Inspiration, Jack of All Trades, and the starting features of a College of your choice. The best Bard subclasses to choose would be Eloquence for better CHA-based ability checks and a buffed Bardic Inspiration, Lore for extra proficiencies and Cutting Words, and Valor for medium armor/shields and the ability to add Bardic Inspiration to weapon attack damage rolls.  The good news with the Bard multiclass is that your spell slot progression isn’t hindered in the least when you do this, and Bards have access to stellar early-level spells like Vicious Mockery and Dissonant Whispers.

Warlock: Warlocks get access to a ton of stuff at 1st-level. First off is the amazing damage cantrip Eldritch Blast, next up is the ability to restore Warlock spell slots on a short rest, and finally is the Pact feature. The Celestial Pact has some healing features, but by far the best choice would be the Hexblade for access to Hexblade’s Curse, proficiency in medium armor/shields, a great expanded spell list, and the ability to melee attack using your CHA modifier.

Sources Used in This Guide


Hope you liked the guide! If you have any questions or feel like we missed something for the 5e Sorcerer, go ahead and post a comment below. If you like our content subscribe to Arcane Eye!

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. Outside of writing for Arcane Eye, Mike spends most of his time playing games, hiking with his girlfriend, and tending the veritable jungle of houseplants that have invaded his house. He is the author of Escape from Mt. Balefor and The Heroes of Karatheon. Mike specializes in character creation guides for players, homebrewed mechanics and tips for DMs, and one-shots with unique settings and scenarios. Follow Mike on Twitter.

Sours: https://arcaneeye.com/class-guides/sorcerer-guide-5e/

Magic is something that a wizard learns, and a warlock bargains for. But, if you are a Sorcerer, magic is something that you are. A powerful force lies within you, and, whether you’re excited by dominating the battlefield with exotic powers, or roleplaying a character touched by inhuman impulses, Sorcerer is not a class to be overlooked in Dungeons and Dragons.

It is, however, a finicky class that can be hard to understand, and even harder to optimise. Pairing together their many disparate features is often a tricky prospect for new players, and even veteran adventurers might need a helping hand when navigating their innate magical capabilities. The Sorcerer can make for a highly adept, damage-dealing wunderkind, but crafting a refined build that maximises their many interlocking abilities is a challenge.

So, to ease you in, here’s our comprehensive Sorcerer class guide. We’ll walk you through their many class features, delve into their powerful Metamagic, provide a rundown of the available subclasses, pick out some choice spells, and serve up some ready-made builds that you might want to take to the tabletop.

If you’re after an overview of all the classes on offer, check out our D&D classes guide, where we walk you through the basic appeal and stats of the core options. But if powerful magic courses through your veins, read on for our D&D Sorcerer 5E guide.

Sorcerer Stats 5E

Hit Dice1D6 per level
HP at Lvl Up1D6 (or 4) + Constitution modifier
Primary ability scoresCharisma
Armour proficiencyNone
Weapon proficiencyDaggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows
Tool proficiencyNone
Skill proficiencyTwo of: Arcana, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, Religion
Saving throwsCharisma and Constitution

With a small pool of hit dice, and no armour proficiency, a Sorcerer is likely to be one of the more vulnerable members of any party. At first glance, the weapon proficiencies aren’t much to look at, either, but don’t estimate that light crossbow option at low levels. If you have high Dex, it’ll hit harder than your cantrips, until they get their first upgrade at fifth level.

Your saving throws are much kinder. Sorcerers are the only full caster to apply their proficiency to Constitution saves. This makes Sorcerers more reliable than any other class with powerful concentration spells, such as Haste and Dominate Person. After all, the save to keep your spell running when an orc’s axe comes to an abrupt stop in your beautiful face is a Con save.

Devoted healer: Read our comprehensive D&D Cleric 5E guide

For most Sorcerers, Charisma is going to be their most important ability score. It determines the effectiveness of their spells, and may influence some bloodline powers. Sorcerers can also use Persuasion and Deception as Cha skills, which opens up a variety of less explosive options in dealing with important encounters. Not every Sorcerer needs both; you could have an interesting game playing a character that’s fundamentally honest or dishonest.

Other abilities of note include Strength, Dexterity, and Con. Some Sorcerers use magic to enhance their weapon attacks, which are based on Str or Dex. The latter is also valuable for improving armour class, as it enhancesthe effects of mage armour or draconic skin. Finally, in addition to boosting concentration saves, Con will also grant the extra hit points that a Sorcerer’s poor D6 hit dice is unwilling to provide.

Sorcerer Class Features 5E

FeatureLevel
Spellcasting1 – 20
Sorcerous Origin1, 6, 14, 18
Font of Magic2 – 20
Metamagic3, 10, 17
Ability Score improvement4, 8, 12, 16, 20
Sorcerous Restoration20

Spellcasting makes up the bread and butter of the Sorcerer. As a Sorcerer you have the highest number of daily spell slots available to a character of their level (tied with the Bard, Cleric, Druid, and Wizard). However, you can only choose a relatively limited number of spells to cast, and, unlike most of those other classes, may only change your decision when you level up. Choose wisely!

The effects of the Sorcerous Origin feature are determined entirely by the Sorcerer’s archetype. Most offer some sort of enhancement that improves your spellcasting, such as improving the damage of your cantrips, or adding extra effects to the spells you cast. We’ll discuss each in detail later.

Font of Magic allows you to turn spell slots into Sorcery Points, and then turn Sorcery Points back into spell slots of a higher level. This may sound like a bad deal, and when you first gain the power it is. But, like a fine wine, it improves with time. Once you’ve got third or fourth level slots it starts becoming worth using this ability; converting one type of slot into another.

Exploring a long dungeon with few opportunities for rest, and worried about running out of spells? Break your high level spells into several lower level spells, and continue to cast every round. Preparing for a single climactic battle with the dark overlord of the horde? Convert all of your slots into the highest level you can cast, and make every turn the best it can be.

Metamagic offers another way to spend Sorcery Points: modifying spells as you cast them. This allows you to create effects that would usually be impossible,o and grants the opportunity to expend more of your power in a single turn. You start out with two Metamagic effects, and will gain another two as you level. You can’t change them, so pick options you’ll be comfortable using for a long time.

Melodic might: Check out our D&D Bard 5E guide

A cheeky peek at feats that give +1 Cha can be worth it, if you started with an odd score. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is your friend here. Shadow Touched and Fey Touched both increase your spell variety, while Telekinetic will give you something fun to do with your underutilised bonus action each round.

Finally, Sorcerous Restoration awaits those who reach the giddy heights of level twenty. This allows you, for the first time, to get something useful out of short rests. Reliably replenishing Sorcery Points now means that you can use metamagic every fight, and can stop trying to talk the party into making every rest an eight hour rest.

Metamagic

Casting spells as written is for suckers, a Sorcerer rewrites the spells to suit them, and Metamagic is how they do it. Using Metamagic is simple: cross off the Sorcery Points as you cast the spell, and modify it as appropriate. It doesn’t cost an extra action, but remember that you can only modify each spell once. No quickened, heightened, and maximised sonic fireballs in fifth edition.

Since you only choose a few Metamagic tricks, and are stuck with them forever, it’s worth taking a moment to consider your options:

Careful Spell: Create holes in your AoE spells to leave allies unharmed (or less harmed, at least). Useful if your DM is fond of placing large groups of enemies in tightly packed environments.

Distant Spell: Increase the range of a spell. In most situations, spell ranges are so long that doubling them is no big deal, but the neat thing about this option is the ability to extend a touch spell to a 30 foot range. Ranged touch attacks are passable, but having a Divine Soul Sorcerer chucking ranged Cure Wounds into situations they’d rather not enter is where this Metamagic option really shines.

Empowered Spell: Reroll some of the damage dice you just rolled. This option becomes more useful the more dice you’re rolling, and is an exception to the ‘one Metamagic trick per spell’ rule. This is the mule of Metamagic options: it’s reliably useful, but doesn’t do anything flashy.

Extended Spell: Doubles the duration of a spell that lasts at least a minute. This one is pretty situational, since many fights are over in under a minute, and most journeys are long enough that doubling a spell’s duration isn’t enough to keep it active across multiple encounters.

Martial mastery: Our D&D Fighter 5E guide for the budding brute

Heightened Spell: Gives a target disadvantage on its saving throw. At low levels the effect often isn’t worth three Sorcery Points, but at high levels you’ll have more points to spare, and be throwing around effects save-or-die spells, so it really starts to shine.

Quickened Spell: Reduces the casting time of a spell to a bonus action. Doing two things in a turn is fantastic, and many Sorcerers will want this, but don’t forget the easily overlooked rule that casting a spell as a bonus action prevents you from casting any spell with a spell slot as your main action. It pairs best with a great cantrip.

Subtle Spell: Cast a spell without saying any words or moving your hands. Equally valuable for starting fights without taking the blame, and escaping (un)just imprisonment. To get the most fun out of this, boost your Cha, and bump that Deception skill.

Twinned Spell: Cast a single target spell and hit two targets. A powerhouse at low levels, since the cost depends on the level of the original spell, but comparatively expensive for enhancing higher level options. One of the hidden benefits of this option is the ability to do twice as much with concentration, such as by using a twinned Hold Person to keep two people held at once.

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything adds another two options:

Seeking Spell: When you miss with a spell that uses an attack roll, spend some Sorcery Points to reroll. This option is a little more efficient than the comparable Heighten spell because you only spend the points after you , rather than when you think your enemy might save.

Transmuted Spell: Converts a spell from one energy type to another. Often this won’t do much, but it lets you exploit enemies with particular weaknesses. It can also be used for thematic reasons; if you’re trying to build some sort of ice princess on a journey of personal discovery, say, and want all of your spells to be cold themed.

Sorcerer subclasses 5E

A Sorcerer’s power comes from their bloodline being touched by a powerful entity, or force. The choice of a Sorcerous Origin defines what sort of force this is, and gives the Sorcerer a suite of abilities to call on above and beyond their usual spellcasting.

DRACONIC BLOODLINE

Found in: Player’s Handbook

LevelSubclass abilities
1Dragon Ancestor, Draconic Resilience
6Elemental Affinity
14Dragon Wings
18Draconic Presence

Most of the powers this archetype offers are intended to help you feel closer to being a dragon. Having armoured skin, being able to fly, and sending enemies fleeing in fear are all great flavour, and provide excellent roleplaying opportunities to viscerally describe the physical changes that reflect these statistical bonuses.

However, as with Divine Soul, many of them mimic spells you could already cast. The Fly spell was available a whopping nine levels before you grew wings. The stand out power here is Elemental Affinity, which is a powerhouse, adding your Cha to damage for spells matching the element of your dragon.

This is a nice upgrade to many of your spells, and an absolutely phenomenal one for your cantrips. To get the most out of this archetype, consider using the Quickened Metamagic to add a noticeably upgraded cantrip to any spell.

WILD MAGIC

Found in: Player’s Handbook

LevelSubclass abilities
1Wild Magic Surge, Tides of Chaos
6Bend Luck
14Controlled Chaos
18Spell Bombardment

Your magic is touched with chaos, so every spell has a chance of producing an effect from the Wild Magic table. This can do anything from summoning illusory butterflies to fireballing yourself.

Learn to love the Wild Magic table; it’s weighted in your favour. For every result bad result, there are two that are good. Controlled Chaos makes the odds even better, by letting you roll twice and pick either roll. It’s not a subclass that was meant to be played conservatively; trigger Wild Magic effects early and often!

Religious righteousness: Check out our D&D Paladin 5E guide

Bend Luck lets you get advantage on any roll in exchange for letting the DM trigger a Wild Magic effect at a time of their choosing. When they do, you can use Bend Luck again. There are two schools of thought on how to handle this: one is to save that advantage so you always have it at the critical moment, the other is to use it early, and try to encourage the DM to Wild Magic you in order to use it several times per session.

To get the most out of wild mage you want to cast lots of spells to increase the chance of your Wild Magic surges. Consider using Sorcery Points to break higher level spells into multiple low level spells, and look for ways to cast spells as bonus actions, or reactions, so that you can use them more often.

You might want to consider another option if the campaign starts at first level though. The ‘Fireball centred on self’ result doesn’t scale down with level, and 8d6 is a lot of damage when everyone’s only got one hit dice.

Aberrant Mind

Found in: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

LevelSubclass abilities
1Aberrant Mind, Psionic Spells, Telepathic Speech
6Psionic Sorcery, Psychic Defences
14Revelation in Flesh
18Warping Implosion

This archetype allows your mind to be warped by alien influences to the point that you gain a power called Revelation in Flesh. How you respond to reading that ability name probably says more about whether you will enjoy this class than anything else.

The core of this class’s mechanical power is in psionic sorcery, which permits you to cheaply cast spells using Sorcery Points. This makes you much more flexible with the level of your spells, even compared to other Sorcerers. It also applies the Subtle Spell Metamagic option to everything you cast without costing any Sorcery Points, or taking up one of your precious Metamagic slots.

You’ll get the most out of this class in a game focused on roleplaying and investigation over combat. The ability to communicate silently, overcome language barriers, and do things without it being obvious that you were responsible gives you a lot of flexibility outside of a straight up fight. Deciding some things about the alien mind that touched yours, and how it’s affected your character’s outlook and personality, can provide a lot of hooks for portraying a unique character.

SHADOW MAGIC

Found in: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

LevelSubclass abilities
1Shadow Magic, Eyes of the Dark, Strength of the Grave
6Hound of Ill Omen
14Shadow Walk
18Umbral Form

The closest you will get to an excuse to declare ‘I am the night’ in a D&D game, the shadow Sorcerer is touched by the umbra, and has powers associated with shadow and darkness.

The archetype has a few nice bonuses but three stand out as potentially character defining: Eyes of the Dark, Hound of Ill Omen and Shadow Walk.

Eyes of the dark allows you to create darkness that only you can see through. That’s advantage on all of your attacks, and disadvantage on all of your foes’. However, it can be frustrating for the rest of the party, so check in with them about it before you set your heart on a character that uses this ability extensively.

Eldritch blast: Read out D&D Warlock 5E guide

Hound of Ill Omen allows you to summon a shadowy hound that moves towards and attacks an enemy each turn. The hound’s combat contributions will be meaningful when you first get it, but it doesn’t scale much with your level, and will be outclassed later in the campaign. But, your target has disadvantage on saves against your spells when it’s close. This is especially valuable for spells with incredible effects, but offer a save each round to escape them, as the disadvantage will apply to the escape rolls, too.

Finally, shadow walk allows you to teleport between shadows as a bonus action. These shows can be over a hundred feet apart, allowing you to repeatedly cast a spell at an enemy, and retreat out of its range. To get the most out of this class, you’ll need to decide which of these diverse powers you most want to orient your character around, and choose your spells and Metamagic to support that choice.

Clockwork Soul

Found in: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

LevelSubclass abilities
1Clockwork Magic, Restore Balance
6Bastion of Law
14Trance of Order
18Clockwork Cavalcade

In stark contrast to our previous option, this archetype allows you to portray a Sorcerer touched by the elemental plane of law. Your body is infused with the cold logic of machinery, and your magic can be bent to correcting whatever you see as the errors in the world.

The early powers in this archetype lend themselves to teamwork. Restore Balance allows you to negate advantage and disadvantage. You can use it to allow a Barbarian to recklessly attack with no drawback. Alternatively, become the Rogue’s new best friend, as disadvantage prevents sneak attacks. Bastion of Law allows you to create damage shields to help allies who need to be in the frontline, but don’t have many hit points.

The real power of this archetype is in Trance of Order. This allows you, for a limited time only, to treat all rolls of 9 or less as 10s. If your stats are good enough that a 10 is a hit, it is equivalent to saying ‘For the rest of this fight you cannot miss’ – wow!

You’ll get the most out of this class at higher levels, and when you’ve focused your spell selections on ones that require attack rolls. Alternatively try to talk your DM into running a buddy cop adventure, where an avatar of law and a scheming rogue make an unlikely pair who can’t see eye to eye, but must overcome their differences in order to save the day.

STORM SORCERY

Found in: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

LevelSubclass abilities
1Wind Speaker, Tempestuous Magic
6Heart of the Storm, Storm Guide
14Storm’s Fury
18Wind Soul

The storm archetype is elegant in its simplicity: you create and control storms.

All of the powers of the class lean into this. Winds carry you a few feet each turn as a short fly move. When you cast a Lightning or Thunder spell, someone you don’t like nearby is struck by lightning. When it rains, it doesn’t rain on you. When it’s windy, the wind goes in a direction of your choice. When someone hits you in melee they’re struck by lightning, and thrown away from you. You can call a storm to fly you and your allies to wherever you want to go.

None of the abilities are that complicated to use, and they all lean into the theme by giving small but concrete combat advantages. You’ll get the most out of this class if you’re someone who likes having a hammer, and making every problem more nail-shaped. Simply pick every spell on the list containing the word “thunder” or “lightning” and you’re good to go.

Divine Soul

Found in: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

LevelSubclass abilities
1Divine Soul, Divine Magic, Favoured by Gods
6Empowered Healing
14Otherworldly Wings
18Unearthly Recovery

So, you want to play a Cleric? Have no fear, the Divine Soul is here to give you access to all of those sweet, sweet divination spells with none of the obligations to a higher power.

The heart of this archetype is in Divine Magic, which allows you to add cleric spells to your spells known. This allows you to play the ultimate spellcaster, drawing on arcane and divine magic with equal proficiency. What’s more, you can be a better Cleric than a Cleric, since you can apply Metamagic to the Cleric spells. Empowered healing even provides an additional metamagic option to reroll healing dice you don’t like.

Creature of the night: Dive into our D&D Rogue 5E guide

The higher level options largely duplicate effects you could already create with spells, but Otherworldly Wings scores considerable style points by generating theologically appropriate wings. Be the white-feathered angel, or bat-winged demon you were born to be.

To get the most out of Divine Soul, look for ways to use Metamagic with Cleric spells to produce surprising effects, such as using Distant Spell for long range healing, Quickening powerful spells, or using Twinned Spell for a buy-one-get-one-free when you spend 1000 gold on a diamond to resurrect someone.

Best race for Sorcerer

Any race can be touched by magic, and become an avatar of some eldritch abomination, but not all abominations are created equal. We’ve picked out some of the races that will produce the most powerful 5E Sorcerers.

HUMAN

Found in: Player’s Handbook

If your DM uses the optional variant Human rule, it offers tremendous flexibility to Sorcerer builds, which can be used to build a wide range of archetypes.

Selecting Fey Touched as your feat adds Misty Step and a first level Divination or Enchantment of your choice to your spell list, doubling your initial spells known from two to four. As you level up, the presence of reliably useful low-level spells allows you to replace them with new options, mitigating the effects of your weak known spells. .

Additionally, the +1 Cha from Fey Touched stacks with your +1 from being a human, making your primary casting stat as good as it would be for any other race. The remaining attribute bonus and your extra skill are then free to customise your character in any direction that takes your fancy.

TIEFLING

Found in: Player’s Handbook

The Tiefling race itself makes a decent, but not exceptional Sorcerer. It has that vital +2 to Cha, but the +1 Intelligence is wasted. Hellish Resistance and Infernal Legacy are nice bonuses, but don’t pair particularly naturally with a Sorcerer’s other abilities.

The real reason to pick it is that being a Tiefling is the prerequisite to the awesome Flames of Phelegetos feat available in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. It adds to your Cha, allows you to reroll ones on damage rolls with fire spells, and gives you a damage shield whenever you cast a fire spell.

Combined with the elemental benefits offered by some Sorcerer archetypes, this can allow you to make the ultimate hellfire wielding underworld badass.

MOUNTAIN DWARF

Found in: Player’s Handbook

An unconventional choice that lacks any sort of Cha boost, the mountain dwarf will slightly lag behind other Sorcerers in terms of attack chance and save DC until they can max out their Cha at twelfth level.

However, for some characters, all of this is justified for dwarven armour training. This race feature allows you to use medium armour. In previous editions, putting on armour hampered spellcasting, but in 5E the prohibition is only against wearing armour that you’re not proficient with.

The bonus to Con is the icing on the surprisingly-hard-to-kill Sorcerer cake, increasing your hit points, and making it easier to maintain concentration spells. The Mountain Dwarf Sorcerer trades a little offensive magical power for a lot of defence.

Changeling

Found in: Eberron – Rising from the Last War

The +2 Cha makes all of your spellcasting better, but the real attraction to this race is the shape changer power. Boasting a high Cha, infinite shapeshifting that isn’t detectable as magic, Deception as a class skill, access to illusions, and the ability to cast spells undetected, the potential for shenanigans is enormous.

It’s not a good choice for an ‘endless string of combat encounters’ game, but in a campaign where some well-placed deceptions can do more to advance your goals than slaying a dragon, the Changeling illusionist Sorcerer is a potent cocktail.

Sorcerer Spells 5E

Summoning shadowy hounds to harass your enemies, or throwing enemies back with bursts of lightning are all well and good, but at the end of the day, whatever flashy powers your bloodline gives you, most of your actions will come down to casting spells. Here we have gathered a collection of some of the best spells a 5E Sorcerer can choose to help them survive and thrive.

Fire Bolt (cantrip, PHB) – When you’ve converted all of your spell slots into Sorcery Points to twin a high level spell, and empower the result, what you’ll have left is cantrips. When that happens, you want a nice reliable damage option. D10 damage at a 120-foot range is reliable and effective.

Arcane artistry: Read our guide to the best D&D 5E spells

Green-Flame Blade (cantrip, TCE) – An unusual spell that will only suit some builds, Green-Flame Blade allows you to make a melee attack that deals its usual damage to the target, and then deals your Cha bonus in damage to a second target.

It’s notable because it provides support for more weapon-focused builds. The effects of levelling up on cantrip damage are effectively doubled for it, since the extra d8s of damage apply to both targets.

Magic Missile (frist, PHB) – It’s a classic for a reason. Sometimes ‘definitely doing damage’ trumps ‘maybe doing the most damage’ and Magic Missile’s property of never missing makes it a strong contender for one of your spell slots.

Mage Armour (first, PHB) – Most Sorcerers can’t wear armour, so unless you’re dragon blooded or a Mountain Dwarf, you’ll almost always want to free up a slot for this eight hour long spell that simulates wearing light armour.

Cloud of Daggers (second, PHB) – Notable for being one of your first concentration spells that creates a damaging area, this option becomes more valuable if you have ways to move enemies around, so that they can be forced back into the cube of spinning knives when they try to leave. The telekinesis feat allows you to shove an enemy a short distance as a bonus action, and adds to your primary casting stat.

Phantasmal Force (second, PHB) – An incredible spell for second level. Choosing the right illusion can take an enemy out of the fight entirely, and if your illusion appears injurious, they take damage every turn too. A powerful option available only to Sorcerers is to use Twinned Spell to hit two enemies at once, and create illusions of them attacking each other.

The benefit of this, besides attacking two enemies, is that if one saves and snaps out of the illusion, it is possible that their friend is still really trying to kill them. With the right skills, you might keep the fight going after the illusion has ended entirely.

Counterspell (third, PHB) – You have as many spell slots as any other caster, but fewer choices. In an arcane duel, you can mitigate that with the veritable defensive miracle that is Counterspell, completely shutting down the opponent’s magical attack options.

You can become resistant to having the same tactic applied to you in reverse by using Sorcery Points to break higher-level spell slots into multiple lower-level slots, so that your enemy runs out of potential counter opportunities , before you run out of spells.

Added bonus: Our pick of the best D&D feats in 5E

Fireball (third, PHB) – Big damage. Big area. Simple. Again, a particularly good spell for Sorcerers because it rolls lots of dice, which makes Metamagic Empower more effective.

Greater Invisibility (fourth, PHB) – The power to be invisible, even if you’re making attacks or casting spells. Cast on yourself, it’s a supplement to the Sorcerer’s sub-par defences. Cast on a friendly Rogue, it’s a sneak attack every round. It also offers a little flexibility given that it has uses in and out of combat.

Polymorph (fourth, PHB) – A spectacular spell that can keep a low HPally in the fight by giving them a fresh pile of hits to work with (and some fancy new options), or take an enemy out of group combat until you’re ready to deal with them. It also allows access to climbing, swimming, and flying. Truly the swiss army knife of spells.

Dominate Person (fifth, PHB) – Several of the archetypes and Metamagic options we’ve looked at can give enemies disadvantage on saving throws. Getting the most out of those requires a spell that has a tremendous effect on a failed save. Killing an enemy is quite effective, but turning them into a puppet that does whatever you wish is better.

Chain Lightning (sixth, PHB) – So you like fireball, but you want to roll more damage dice, use larger damage dice, and you want to be able to hit multiple enemies engaged in melee with your friends, all without dealing friendly fire?

Chain Lightning does all of that, replacing Fireball as your bread and butter damage spell for higher levels.

Prismatic Spray (seventh, PHB) – This is often not the optimal seventh-level spell for Sorcerers, but it’s the most fun. Are you casting Scorching Ray? Planeshift? Flesh to Stone? Yes, to all of the above, and possibly no. You’ll find out when it goes off. The impossibility of optimising such an unpredictable spell very much makes this a roleplaying choice over a mechanical one, but it’s a great fit for a wild mage, and a blast to use.

Abi-Dalzim’s Horrid Wilting (eighth, XGE) – 12d8 damage is a serious punch, and lots of dice is always good for Empowered spells, but by this level you have a hundred ways of dealing damage.

Cosmopolitan: Our rundown of the D&D 5E races

What makes this spell stand out is that it’s a statement of intent: all non-magical plants in the area shrivel and die instantly as part of the casting. For when you want to be understood, and need to say ‘I intend to kill every living thing here’, Horrid Wilting is your only option.

Power Word Kill (ninth, PHB) – Mechanically, the spell is effective, though fiddly. It only works when an enemy has less than 100 HPso you have to correctly time its use. However, it offers no save, so deployed at the right moment, this spell is ‘99 damage, no save’ which outperforms any of your other damaging options.

Thematically it’s awesome. You say one word. They die. The end.

Sorcerer Builds 5E

So you’re considering building a 5E Sorcerer and would like to see a few options? You’ve come to the right place. All of these builds use a standard 27 point build, and specify the Sorcerous Origins, Metamagic, and Ability Score increase choices. Skill and spell choices are largely a matter of taste, but if something is particularly important, it’ll be highlighted.

Hellfire Caller

This is a build for players who like high numbers. It’s aimed at rolling lots of dice, doing lots of damage, and feeling impactful on the battlefield. It has a strong theme that you can build a personality around.

But whether you want to be a demonic avenger out to destroy the world over perceived slights, or a hapless hero barely in control of a force much more powerful than they are, giving battle cries of ‘oops’ ‘sorry’, and ‘we’ll fix that later’ is up to you.

Basic build

Race: Tiefling (Levistus)
Subclass: Draconic (Red)
Ability scores: Str 11, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 17

LevelAbilities
3Metamagic choices: Empowered Spell, Quickened Spell
4Flames of Phelegetos feat
8+2 Cha
10Metamagic Choice: Transmuted Spell
12Elemental Adept (fire) feat
16+2 Con
17Metamagic choice: Heighten Spell
19+2 Con

Spell selection: Fire bolt, Scorching Ray, Fireball. Anything that deals fire damage.

Details

The feats and class features work together to maximise the effectiveness of fire spells.

Whenever you cast a Fire spell, add your Cha to the damage, and reroll any ones. Plus, if your reroll lands on another one , it counts as a two, and you get a damage shield for a turn. If your enemy was resistant to fire, their resistance doesn’t count.

These bonuses appear between fourth and 12th level, though you can have them all by eighth if you delay getting your Cha to 20.
Secondary considerations include having Metamagic that will typically be useful for the most popular Fire spells, and increasing your Con.

Some players may prefer to increase Dexterity (in which case, play a Tiefling from Dis), valuing armour class over hitpoints.
Once you pass 10th level you can branch out into spells that don’t deal fire damage, because you are able to convert them to fire damage using your new Transmuted Spell Metamagic. Just in time for chain lightning.

Wild Forces

The wild forces Sorcerer specialises in setting up dangerous, ongoing spells, and forcing enemies to move through them, over, and over, again. It’s a fun build to play if you are resolving your fights on a battle mat, and want to approach the game as a tactical puzzle.

In terms of roleplaying options, your character’s relation to wild magic offers some personality hooks: do you intentionally draw on dangerous forces knowing there will sometimes be side effects? Has an unpredictable side effect caused an important event in your character’s past, which is driving your current actions? Do you struggle to maintain an orderly mind and lifestyle to try to hold back the forces of chaos?

Basic build

Race: Human (Variant, feat: Telekinesis)
Subclass: Wild
Ability scores: Str 8, Dex 12, Con 11, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 17

LevelAbilities
3Metamagic choices: Empowered Spell, Subtle Spell
4Feat: Fey Touched
8+2 Cha
10Metamagic choice: Quicken Spell
12Feat: Spell Sniper
16Feat: War Caster
17Metamagic choice: Heighten Spell
19+2 Wis

Spell selection: Cloud of Daggers, Wall of Fire, other spells that create damaging areas. Thunderwave, Pulse Wave, other spells that push or pull enemies. Silent Image, Phantasmal Force, and other illusions that can mislead an enemy as to the location of the dangerous areas.

Details

This build focuses on manipulating your enemies’ positioning. Telekinesis gives you access to a short distance push that only requires a bonus action, and doesn’t need a spell slot, allowing you to summon something on one enemy, and push a second enemy into it on the same turn. Spell Sniper allows you to learn a cantrip from another class. The Druid’s Thorn Whip will allow you to pull an enemy 15 feet without needing to expend a spell slot.

In principle, you could pull an enemy through a dangerous area, and then push them back into it on the same turn. But in practice, this is rarely useful, as many spells of this nature only deal damage to an enemy the first time they enter the area in a given turn. Spell sniper also lets you ignore cover you may have created between yourself and a ranged enemy.

The other choices are largely to support this playstyle. Empowered Spell boosts the damage of many key spells. Quicken Spell lets you create a danger area and quicken Thorn Whip to pull another enemy in. Wild magic provides advantage whenever you’ve set something up you really want to work. The wild magic side effects table may also provide additional opportunities to create dangerous opportunities, or move enemies.

Subtle Spell provides some flexibility. Being able to teleport when you can’t move your arms gets you out of grapples, or other obstacles that might prevent you from manoeuvring to place hazards between you and the enemy. It also allows you to create a hazard without obviously being the cause of it, which a devious player might use for assassinations, or to build consensus against an imagined threat.

Hammer Sorcerer

The hammer Sorcerer is that rare variety of Sorcerer that isn’t particularly good at spells. Their real effort goes into hitting people with hammers, and the sorcery is less ‘world shattering power’ than it is ‘a way to hammer more effectively’. They’ve still got a fireball if the enemy happens to be particularly flammable, but most of their problem solving is more direct.

If you’ve played a Sorcerer before, and fancy trying something that plays a bit differently, the hammer Sorcerer gives the opportunity to approach the class in an unconventional way. It could also be good if your campaign setting has done some interesting world building with Dwarves, and you want to portray how that society approaches a vocation that doesn’t play to their strengths.

There are a lot of roleplaying opportunities in the hammer Sorcerer, if you’re looking for them. Why has your character chosen this unusual path? What do they think of the relationship between their society and magic? Is there something about the world, their home, or themselves that they hope to change?

Basic build

Race: Dwarf (Mountain)
Subclass: Divine Soul
Ability scores: Str 17, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 14

LevelAbilities
3Metamagic Choices: Twin Spell, Quicken Spell
4Feat: Crusher
8+2 Str
10Metamagic choice: Seeking Spell
12+2 Cha
16+2 Cha
17Metamagic choice: Empower Spell
19+2 Cha

Spell selection: Booming Blade, Shield, Shield of Faith, Healing Word, Haste and other spells that make you a better fighter.

Details

Slap on some armour, and grab a warhammer, we’re taking this Sorcerer into the melee. This build has a surprising amount of survivability, because its race gives you medium armour proficiency, and you’ll have the maximum +2 that Dexterity can add to medium armour.

Then, if anything hits us, we can use a reaction to throw out a Shield spell for another +5. If something looks dangerous, we can stack a Divine Shield spell on top for another +2. At low levels most things will need high rolls to hit us, and if they get one we can retroactively declare they needed a 20 all along.

That’s all well and good, but what can this build do to the enemy? A standard action will be to cast Booming Blade, and hit the enemy with a hammer. The hammer deals damage. Booming Blade deals damage. The enemy is pushed because of the Crusher feat. On the enemy’s turn, if it moves, Booming Blade deals damage again. If it doesn’t move, it’s out of reach now so it’s wasted its turn.

None of which uses a bonus action, or a real spell slot. So the Quicken spell allows us to access all of the power of a regular Sorcerer in addition to our hammering. Alternatively healing word is natively a bonus action to cast and doesn’t require any Sorcery Points, so that on the rare occasions something does hit its progress can be trivially negated.

If you wanted to double down on the melee Sorcerer aspect, the later Cha advances could be swapped out for more combat options. War Caster and medium armour proficiency (to obtain shield proficiency) would be good for some more continuous armour. Tavern Brawler would enable grapple as a bonus action, for enemies like archers who you’d rather not push away. In this case, you can support it with spells that deal damage to nearby enemies, such as Spirit Guardians.

Roleplaying

When optimising builds, rules, and options it can be easy to forget that we’re talking about a roleplaying game. So, before we wrap up the guide, I’d like to leave you with a few suggestions to enhance roleplaying Sorcerers.

‘The chunk of flesh the axe blow took away animates, and crawls back up your leg and onto your neck, where it fuses with the wound, messily plugging the gap.’

That’s one way a player could say ‘I cast healing word’, and it’ll have the same effect. The target gets d4+Cha healing. But magic feels more magical if you describe it like it is. It’s important to keep it short. Combat can take long enough without a ten-minute monologue for every spell.

Outside of spellcasting, give some thought to how your character relates to their heritage. Are they delighted by it? Upset? Do they want to further the agendas of beings like the ones they’re related to? Are they trying to become more like them? Maybe they wish people would stop interpreting everything they do as a consequence of their bloodline?

Whatever you choose, find little ways to show it. If your devil blooded Sorcerer worries about becoming something terrible, flinch when another player executes an unconscious opponent.

If your dragon blooded Sorcerer is trying to become a true dragon, mime examining and polishing your money during regular conversations, and drop contractions from your speech. If your storm Sorcerer is descended from genies, try saying ‘granted’ instead of ‘okay’ when you agree to do something.

A couple of little mannerisms done against the backdrop of regular interactions can do more to make your character feel real than hogging the limelight to give a monologue about how having Tiamat for a great-great-grandmother makes you feel.

Roleplaying games are about having fun. Make a character you think is cool, and show them off in ways that are effective. Build in a way that makes combat go the way you like, whether you’re aiming for simplicity, challenge, interesting tactics, easy victories, or whatever else makes your day. If you think the world needs a gnome Sorcerer who chooses their spells based on a colour scheme, then make your beautiful rainbow explosion, and to hell with optimisation.

Whatever you do, have a great time with your new Sorcerer.

Sours: https://www.wargamer.com/dnd/sorcerer-5e-class-guide
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D&D 5th Edition

Sorcerer Spells by Name
Sorcerer Spells by Level
As a Sorcerer, you gain the following Class Features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d6 per Sorcererlevel
Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constitutionmodifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitutionmodifier per Sorcererlevel after 1st

Starting Proficiencies

You are proficient with the following items, in addition to any Proficienciesprovided by your race or Background.

Armor: none
Weapons: daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows
Tools: none
Saving Throws:Constitution, Charisma
Skills: Choose two from Arcana, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, and Religion

Starting Equipment

You start with the following Equipment, in addition to the Equipmentgranted by your background:

• (a) a Light Crossbowand 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
• (a) a Component pouchor (b) an arcane focus
• (a) a Dungeoneer's Packor (b) an Explorer's Pack
• Two daggers



Spellcasting

An event in your past, or in the life of a parent or ancestor, left an indelible mark on you, infusing you with Arcane Magic. This Font of Magic, whatever its Origin, fuels your Spells.

Cantrips

At 1st Level, you know four Cantripsof your choice from the Sorcererspell list. You learn additional SorcererCantripsof your choice at higher levels, as shown in the CantripsKnown column of the Sorcerertable.

Spell Slots

The Sorcerertable shows how many Spell Slotsyou have to cast your Spellsof 1st Leveland higher. To cast one of these SorcererSpells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended Spell Slotswhen you finish a Long Rest.

For example, if you know the 1st-level spell Burning Handsand have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast Burning Handsusing either slot.

Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher

You know two 1st-level Spellsof your choice from the Sorcererspell list.

You learn an additional Sorcererspell of your choice at each level except 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 19th, and 20th. Each of these Spellsmust be of a level for which you have Spell Slots. For instance, when you reach 3rd Levelin this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd Level.

Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the SorcererSpellsyou know and replace it with another spell from the Sorcererspell list, which also must be of a level for which you have Spell Slots.

Spellcasting Ability

Charismais your Spellcastingability for your SorcererSpells, since the power of your magic relies on your ability to project your will into the world. You use your Charismawhenever a spell refers to your Spellcastingability. In addition, you use your Charismamodifier when setting the saving throw DC for a Sorcererspell you cast and when making an Attackroll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your Proficiency Bonus + your Charisma modifier
Spell Attack modifier = your Proficiency Bonus + your Charisma modifier


Spellcasting Focus

You can use an arcane focus as a Spellcastingfocus for your SorcererSpells.

Sorcerous Origin

Choose a sorcerous Origin, which describes the source of your innate magical power, such as DraconicBloodline.

Your choice grants you features when you choose it at 1st Leveland again at 6th, 14th, and 18th level.

Font of Magic

At 2nd Level, you tap into a deep wellspring of magic within yourself. This wellspring is represented by sorcery points, which allow you to create a variety of magical Effects.

Sorcery Points

You have 2 sorcery points, and you gain one additional point every time you level up, to a maximum of 20 at level 20. You can never have more sorcery points than shown on the table for your level. You regain all spent sorcery points when you finish a Long Rest.

Flexible Casting

You can use your sorcery points to gain additional Spell Slots, or sacrifice Spell Slotsto gain additional sorcery points. You learn other ways to use your sorcery points as you reach higher levels.

Creating Spell Slots. You can transform unexpended sorcery points into one spell slot as a Bonus Actionon Your Turn. The created Spell SlotsVanishat the end of a Long Rest. The Creating Spell Slotstable shows the cost of Creating a Spellslot of a given level. You can create Spell Slotsno higher in level than 5th.

Any spell slot you create with this feature vanishes when you finish a Long Rest.

Spell Slot
Level
Sorcery
Point Cost
1st2
2nd3
3rd5
4th6
5th7
Converting a Spell Slot to Sorcery Points. As a Bonus Actionon Your Turn, you can expend one spell slot and gain a number of sorcery points equal to the slot's level.

Metamagic

At 3rd Level, you gain the ability to twist your Spellsto suit your needs. You gain two of the following Metamagicoptions of your choice. You gain another one at 10th and 17th level.

You can use only one Metamagicoption on a spell when you cast it, unless otherwise noted.

Careful Spell

When you Cast a Spellthat forces other creatures to make a saving throw, you can protect some of those creatures from the spell’s full force. To do so, you spend 1 sorcery point and choose a number of those creatures up to your Charismamodifier (minimum of one creature). A chosen creature automatically succeeds on its saving throw against the spell.

Distant Spell

When you Cast a Spellthat has a range of 5 feet or greater, you can spend 1 sorcery point to double the range of the spell.

When you Cast a Spellthat has a range of touch, you can spend 1 sorcery point to make the range of the spell 30 feet.

Empowered Spell

When you roll damage for a spell, you can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll a number of the damage dice up to your Charismamodifier (minimum of one). You must use the new rolls.

You can use Empowered Spelleven if you have already used a different Metamagicoption during the casting of the spell.

Extended Spell

When you Cast a Spellthat has a Durationof 1 minute or longer, you can spend 1 sorcery point to double its Duration, to a maximum Durationof 24 hours.

Heightened Spell

When you Cast a Spellthat forces a creature to make a saving throw to resist its Effects, you can spend 3 sorcery points to give one target of the spell disadvantage on its first saving throw made against the spell.

Quickened Spell

When you Cast a Spellthat has a Casting Timeof 1 action, you can spend 2 sorcery points to change the Casting Timeto 1 Bonus Actionfor this casting.

Subtle Spell

When you Cast a Spell, you can spend 1 sorcery point to cast it without any somatic or verbal Components.

Twinned Spell

When you Cast a Spellthat Targetsonly one creature and doesn’t have a range of self, you can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the spell’s level to target a second creature in range with the same spell (1 sorcery point if the spell is a cantrip).

To be eligible, a spell must be incapable of targeting more than one creature at the spell’s current level. For example, Magic Missileand Scorching Rayaren’t eligible, but Ray of Frost is.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th Level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two Ability Scoresof your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Sorcerous Restoration

At 20th level, you regain 4 expended sorcery points whenever you finish a Short Rest.

Sorcerous Origins

Different sorcerers claim different Originsfor their innate magic, such as a Draconicbloodline.

Draconic Bloodline

Your innate magic comes from Draconicmagic that was mingled with your blood or that of your ancestors. Most often, sorcerers with this Origintrace their descent back to a mighty Sorcererof ancient times who made a bargain with a Dragonor who might even have claimed a Dragonparent. Some of these bloodlines are well established in the world, but most are obscure. Any given Sorcerercould be the first of a new bloodline, as a result of a pact or some other exceptional circumstance.

Dragon Ancestor

At 1st Level, you choose one type of Dragonas your ancestor. The damage type associated with each Dragonis used by features you gain later.

You can speak, read, and write Draconic. Additionally, whenever you make a Charismacheck when interacting with Dragons, your Proficiency Bonusis doubled if it applies to the check.

Draconic Resilience

As magic flows through your body, it causes physical Traitsof your Dragonancestors to emerge. At 1st Level, your hit point maximum increases by 1 and increases by 1 again whenever you gain a level in this class.

Additionally, parts of your skin are covered by a thin sheen of dragon-like scales. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC equals 13 + your Dexteritymodifier.

Elemental Affinity

Starting at 6th level, when you Cast a Spellthat deals damage of the type associated with your Draconicancestry, you can add your Charismamodifier to one damage roll of that spell. At the same time, you can spend 1 sorcery point to gain Resistanceto that damage type for 1 hour.

Dragon Wings

At 14th level, you gain the ability to sprout a pair of Dragonwings from your back, gaining a flying speed equal to your current speed. You can create these wings as a Bonus Actionon Your Turn. They last until you dismiss them as a Bonus Actionon Your Turn.

You can’t manifest your wings while wearing armor unless the armor is made to accommodate them, and clothing not made to accommodate your wings might be destroyed when you manifest them.

Draconic Presence

Beginningat 18th level, you can channel the dread presence of your Dragonancestor, causing those around you to become awestruck or Frightened. As an action, you can spend 5 sorcery points to draw on this power and exude an aura of awe or fear (your choice) to a distance of 60 feet. For 1 minute or until you lose your Concentration(as if you were casting a Concentrationspell), each Hostilecreature that starts its turn in this aura must succeed on a Wisdomsaving throw or be Charmed(if you chose awe) or Frightened(if you chose fear) until the aura ends. A creature that succeeds on this saving throw is immune to your aura for 24 hours.

Spellcasting Ability

Subclass Name

Suggested Abilities

Sours: https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/Sorcerer

DnD 5e – The Sorcerer Handbook

Last Updated: September 24, 2021

Introduction

Sorcerers are a challenge, but at the same time they can be less complex than most spellcasting classes. The Sorcerer’s spell list allows them to serve as a Blaster, Controller, Striker, and Utility Caster, and sorcerers make one of the easiest Faces in the game due to their skill list and their dependence on Charisma.

The Sorcerer falls into a middle ground between the Wizard and the Warlock. The Sorcerer lacks the versatility of a Wizard due to their limited number of spells known, but share many of the same capabilities and almost all of the same spells. Where the Wizard is powerful because they own a tool for every problem, the Sorcerer is powerful because they own a few good tools and can use them to fix any problem. The Sorcerer gets more spell slots than the Warlock, allowing them to focus more on leveled spells than the Warlock, who must use them sparingly and rely heavily on cantrips and invocations.

The Sorcerer’s versatility comes from their ability to boost their spells using Metamagic, shaping them to suit the needs of the moment. If you’re accustomed to playing a wizard, expect to cast a lot of low-level spells using higher-level spell slots to get as much utility as you can out of your limited number of spells known.

After reading this handbook, I encourage you to read my Sorcerer Subclasses Breakdown, my Sorcerer Spells Breakdown, and my Sorcerer Metamagic Breakdown.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer

RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.

I will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, even if it is my own, because I can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. I also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and I can’t guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.

The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released and this article will be updating accordingly as time allows.

RPGBOT is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.

Sorcerer Class Features

Optional Class Features are detailed below under Optional Class Features.

Hit Points: d6 hit points is the lowest in the game, so be sure to take enough Constitution to compensate.

Saves: Constitution and Charisma are two excellent saves, since things which effect either of them frequently incapacitate you in some fashion (example: Banishment requires a Charisma save), and since Constitution saves are used for Concentration. That means that Concentration spells are easier to maintain without investing in options like the War Caster feat.

Proficiencies: No armor or shields, and only the most basic weapons, but the Sorcerer skill list contains all of the Face skills, including Insight.

Spellcasting: The Sorcerer casts spells the same way a Bard does: You get a set number of spells known, and can cast any spell from that list so long as you have the slots to do so. This means that Sorcerers always have fewer options available to them than a Wizard who can change their spell list daily, but Sorcerers make up for this lack of versatility by being able to augment their spells with Metamagic. The Sorcerer spell list is a subset of the Wizard’s spell list (with a handful of additions like Dominate Beast and Earthquake), but you still have plenty of options to choose from.

It’s also interesting to note that the Sorcerer gets more cantrips than any other spellcaster, but they get fewer spells known than the Bard. Expect to cast low-levels spells at higher-level spell slots frequently, and to use metamagic to customize your spells. Most importantly, expect to retrain lower-level spells whenever you get a better option, constantly adjusting your spells known to perfect your spellcasting capabilities.

For help selecting spells, see my Sorcerer Spell List Breakdown.

Sorcerous Origin: Sorcerer subclasses are briefly summarized below. See my Sorcerer Subclasses Breakdown for help selecting your subclass.

  • Aberrant Mind: Combine the power of psionics with the power of arcane magic to create a spellcaster with the sorcerer’s deep well of spellcasting and some of the warlock’s spooky, occult magic.
  • Clockwork Soul: An avatar of order, the Clockwork Soul rounds the edges off of probability and wards their allies against harm and entropy.
  • Divine Soul: Descended from a divine bloodline, add the ability to learn and cast cleric spells in addition to sorcerer spells.
  • Draconic Bloodline: Gain additional power from your draconic ancestry, growing scales which work like armor, and dealing additional damage with spells of the damage type determined by your ancestry.
  • Shadow Magic: Masters of magical darkness, gain the ability to see in darkness and summon a powerful shadow hound to weaken and attack your foes.
  • Storm Sorcery: Adept at flight and casting spells in close quarters, storm sorcerers dart in and out of close range to deal bursts of sonic and lightning damage before flying back out of reach and retreating.
  • Wild Magic: Exciting but unpredictable, wild magic sorcerers can manipulate luck to grant themselves Advantage on some rolls and to apply a small bonus or penalty to others, but casting spells may trigger rolls on the Wild Magic Table, producing unpredictable but exciting magical effects.

Font of Magic: Font of Magic is a definitive feature of the Sorcerer, especially Sorcery Points.

  • Sorcery Points: Sorcery points fuel the Sorcerer’s abilities and allow the class to do much more than just casting spells. You have a limited pool per day, but you have the option of consuming spell slots to get additional Sorcery Points. This pool is fairly limited, so budgeting your sorcery points is crucial. If you need more, look at the Metamagic Adept feat and items like the Bloodwell Vial.
  • Flexible Casting: Using Sorcery Points to get additional spell slots is very expensive, so only do it when you absolutely need to do so. Converting spell slots to Sorcery Points is a bit less daunting once you have a large pool of spell slots, but be sure not to do it too much or you will quickly run out of daily resources. There are some cases where it can be very effective to turn a bunch of Sorcery Points into cheap low-level spell slots, but those cases are rare.

Metamagic: Metamagic allows you to stretch the effects of your limited number of spells known, allowing you to easily capitalize on existing spells instead of constantly needing to find and learn new ones. With a pool of spells known as small as the Sorcerer’s, this is an important capability.

For help with Metamagic options, including the Metamagic Adept feat, see my Sorcerer Metamagic Breakdown.

Sorcerous Restoration: Four free Sorcery Points gives you a lot of options, but it’s only 4 points every Short Rest. In a full adventuring day you can expect 2 Short Rests at most, so it’s 8 Sorcery Points across a full day compared to the 20 that you already get and however many you get from converting spell slots. Plus, a Bloodwell Vial will get you 5 on a Short Rest if you spend at least one hit die, so this feels disappointingly small.

Optional Class Features

Introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, Optional Class Features offer ways to add additional features or replace existing ones. These rules are optional, and you should not assume that your DM will allow these features without consulting them first.

Assessments and suggestions for specific Optional Class Features are presented here, but for more information on handling Optional Class Features in general, see my Practical Guide to Optional Class Features.

Additional Sorcerer Spells (Addition): A surpisingly large number of additions, the Sorcerer gets numerous spells taken primarily from the Wizard’s spell list, bringing the two classes a little closer together in terms of spell options. The Sorcerer also gets Flame Blade, but Flame Blade is garbage so it’s mostly there to say “neat, you get a druid spell”.

I recommend allowing the new spells on all sorcerers. They’re no better than what sorcerers already get, but they introduce some excellent new ideas to the Sorcerer’s spell options.

Metamagic Options (Addition): Two interesting new metamagic options.

I recommend allowing the new options on all sorcerers. The new options are good but not as good as existing options like Heightened Spell and Quickened Spell, so they’re not going to cause balance issues.

Sorcerous Versatility (Addition): Like other spellcasters, the Sorcerer gains the ability to retrain a cantrip. Second, you can retrain one Metamagic choice. Sorcerers get more cantrips than anyone else so retraining them isn’t as impactful, but retraining metamagic is a huge benefit considering how few you get.

I recommend allowing Sorcerous Versatility on all sorcerers. Like other retraining mechanics, it’s helpful but doesn’t actually make characters more powerful because they’re not getting anything which they couldn’t already have at the same level.

Magical Guidance (Addition): This makes the spell Enhance Ability considerably less useful. A single sorcery point is a low cost for insurance against bad rolls on ability checks.

I recommend allowing Magical Guidance on all single-class sorcerers using subclasses which I’ve rated orange or red. Other sorcerers are already plenty effective, and if they need help with ability checks they can cast Enhance Ability.

Ability Scores

Sorcerers are all about Charisma, and you can forego everything else.

Str: Dump.

Dex: Take a bit for AC.

Con: Take some to compensate for your d6 hit points and to support Concentration.

Int: A bit for knowledge skills might be nice.

Wis: Wisdom saves are common, and Insight is helpful for a Face.

Cha: Commands almost everything you do.

Point BuyStandard Array
  • Str: 8
  • Dex: 14
  • Con: 14
  • Int: 10
  • Wis: 10
  • Cha: 15
  1. Str: 8
  2. Dex: 13
  3. Con: 14
  4. Int: 12
  5. Wis: 10
  6. Cha: 15

Races

Charisma bonuses are absolutely essential. Since you don’t need ability score increases for other abilities, a +1 bonus can often be just as good as a +2, which opens up numerous racial options. Innate Spellcasting to compensate for your small pool of spells known and racials trait which improve your durability to compensate for your d6 hit dice and lack of armor are both great choices.

Note that setting-specific races like the Changeling and the Satyr are addressed in setting-specific sections, below.

AarakocraEEPC

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases and flight. Excellent, but the Winged Tiefling is better.

Default Rules: Permanent nonmagical flight is great, but you’ll lag offensively.

AasimarVGtM

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, two damage resistances, and Darkvision. Transformation is still the big reason to play the Aasimar. Note that the damage bonuses from Transformation work with spells, so your best bet is to make multiple attacks (Scorching Ray) or use an AOE damage spell and apply the damage to a creature which fails its save.

  • Fallen: The sorcerer generally does not belong in melee.
  • Protector: Flight when you need it in combat and a damage boost.
  • Scourge: Exciting, but you don’t have the hit points to back this up.

Default Rules: +2 Charisma is fantastic for sorcerers. Healing hands provides a healing mechanic very rarely available to sorcerers, and you get resistance to both necrotic and radiant damage, neither of which can be gained from spells like Resist Energy.

  • Fallen: Necrotic Shroud’s damage boost is nice, but the Strength bonus is totally wasted on the Sorcerer.
  • Protector: Flight when you need it, and it doesn’t require Concnetration.
  • Scourge: You do not have enough hit points to gamble them on Radiant Consumption.

Aasimar (DMG Variant)DMG

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, two damage resistances, and Darkvision. The innate spellcasting is nice, but the Divine Soul Sorcerer gets access to the same spells so it’s not especially exciting.

Default Rules: A Charisma increase, two damage resistances, and Darkvision. The innate spellcasting is nice, but the Divine Soul Sorcerer gets access to the same spells so it’s not especially exciting.

BugbearVGtM

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, Darkvision, and one skill. Surprise Attack works with spells which make attacks like Chromatic Orb, which makes single-target spell attacks a very effective option in early in a fight. However, as you gain levels spells which require attacks become less common and Surprise Attack will gradually fall out of favor. Long-Limbed is a trap; it won’t work with Booming Blade or with touch spells targeting your allies.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

Custom LineageTCoE

Customized Origin: The Customizing Your Origin rules make no change to the Custom Lineage.

Default Rules: A +2 increase, either a skill or Darkvision, and a feat. I recommend Darkvision so that you don’t need to get it from a spell. If you pick a feat which provides an ability score increase you can start at 18 Charisma, giving you a significant numerical advantage until at least 8th level when most characters are expected to hit 20 in their primary ability score. If you really want that extra skill proficiency, consider the Skilled or Skill Expert feats, or consider playing a Standard Half-Elf.

DragonbornPHB

The Draconblood and Ravenite subraces are addressed under Races of Wildemount, below.

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increase and damage resistance. The Dragonborn’s signature trait is their breath weapon, which provides a helpful short-range AOE damage option that will complement your limited number of spells known.

Default Rules: The Strength bonus is wasted, but you get a Charisma bonus and permanent damage resistance. The breath weapon can be a helpful, especially at low levels when your spell options are limited, but the short range can be risky because it brings you close to melee.

DwarfPHB

Customized Origin: One +2 increase and a second increase from your subrace, poison resistance, and weapon and tool proficiencies that you probably won’t need.

  • DuergarSCAG: Invisibility as an innate spell is nice, but that’s the only big appeal here. Sunlight Sensitivitiy is a pain, and Enlarge/Reduce isn’t especially useful for the Sorcerer.
  • HillPHB: Bonus hit points are always nice.
  • MountainPHB: Medium armor and a second +2 increase. The second +2 increase isn’t especially helpful for the Sorcerer, but with 14 Dexterity, 16 Constitution, and medium armor, you’re be incredibly durable without sacrificing Charisma.

Default Rules: No dwarf options offer a Charisma increase, which makes them a hard option for the Sorcerer.

  • DuergarSCAG: Bad ability spread.
  • HillPHB: Lots of extra hit points, but you’ll need to avoid spells which make attacks or rely on saving throws. Doable, but it’s very difficult.
  • MountainPHB: Medium armor and Constitution are a significant increase in your durability. With enough investment in Constitution you can be durable enough to survive fighting at close range. However, lagging on Charisma compared to other sorcerers means that it’s harder for you to use spells which make attacks or which allow saving throws. If you just want armor, I would consider starting with a level in Fighter to get heavy armor and shields, then go straight sorcerer after that.

ElfPHB

The Palid Elf subrace is addressed under Races of Wildemount, below.

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases (each subrace provides an additional +1), Darkvision, one skill.

  • DrowPHB: The innate spellcasting is great and it’s Charisma-based so it will remain perpetually useful. The only problem is Sunlight Sensitivity.
  • EladrinMToF: Free teleportation on a short rest means that you don’t need to spend one of your spell slots to do it. The rider effects on the teleportation are Charisma-based, too, which is perfect for the Sorcerer.
  • Eladrin (Variant)DMG: Similar to the standard Eladrin, but you give up the cool rider effect for four weapon proficiencies which you won’t use.
  • High ElfPHB: More cantrips never hurt, but the Sorcerer already gets more cantrips than nay other class. Strongly consider the Drow or the Drow Half-Elf if you just need an extra cantrip.
  • Sea ElfEGtW / MToF: Only in an aquatic campaign.
  • Shadar-KaiMToF: Not as useful for the Sorcerer as the Eladrin’s more frequent teleportation.
  • Wood ElfPHB: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer, so you’re basically falling back on the core racial traits.

Default Rules: Dexterity and free Perception are nice, and you have a few options for Charisma increases.

  • DrowPHB: Bonus Charisma and some free spells, but Sunlight Sensitivity can be a pain.
  • EladrinMToF: Bonus Charisma and free teleportation with a Charisma-based rider effect.
  • Eladrin (Variant)DMG: Bad ability spread
  • High Elf: Bad ability spread.
  • Sea ElfMToF: Bad ability spread.
  • Shadar-KaiMToF: Bad ability spread.
  • Wood ElfPHB: Bad ability spread.

FirbolgVGtM

Customized Origin: The innate spellcasting adds some useful options which reduce the need to handle the same problems with your limited spells known.

Default Rules: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

GenasiEEPC

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases (each subrace provides an additional +1), but the vast majority of the Genasi’s traits come from the subraces.

  • Air: Pick a race that can fly.
  • Earth: Difficult terrain is rarely a problem unless you’re running around in melee. Pass Without Trace is good, but it’s not enough on its own.
  • Fire: Similar in many ways to the Tiefling, but the Fire Genasi’s spellcasting is Constitution-based while the Tiefling’s is Charisma-based, so the Tiefling has a huge advantage.
  • Water: Only in an aquatic campaign.

Default Rules: The Constitution increase is nice, but there are no Charisma increases to be found here.

  • Air: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.
  • Earth: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.
  • Fire: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.
  • Water: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

GithMToF

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases (each subrace provides an additional +2), but the bulk of your notable racial traits come from your subrace.

  • Githyanki: Medium armor is a fantastic AC boost, and coupled with Misty Step for free the Githyanki offers some interesting options for the Sorcerer, walking a fine line between the durability of the Dwarf and mobility of the Eladrin.
  • Githzerai: Mental Discipline will protect you from common status conditions, and the innate spellcasters offers several useful options which will help you stretch your limited number of spells known.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

  • Githyanki: Bad ability spread and the armor and innate spellcasting don’t make up for it.
  • Githzerai: Bad ability spread and the innate spellcasting doesn’t make up for it.

GnomePHB

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases (each subrace offers a +1 increase), Darkvision, and Gnome Cunning.

  • Deep (Svirfneblin)EEPC / SCAG: Superior Darkvision is nice, but I would only consider this in a subterranean campaign where Stone Camouflage will be useful.
  • ForestPHB: Minor illusion is a good cantrip, but a race which provides more innate spellcasting will typically be more helpful for the Sorcerer.
  • RockPHB: Tinker is barely useful.

Default Rules: The shared Intelligence increase is wasted, and there are no Charisma increases to be found.

  • Deep (Svirfneblin)EEPC / SCAG: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.
  • ForestPHB: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.
  • RockPHB: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

GoblinVGtM

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases and Darkvision. Nimble Escape helps you stay out of melee, minimizing the need for things like Misty Step. Fury of the Small applies to spells, including AOE spells, but remember that saving for half damage will also reduce the damage from Fury of the Small so you want to apply the damage bonus when an enemy fails their save.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

GoliathEEPC

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, one skill, and damage resistance. Stone’s Endurance adds the equivalent of a barbarian hit die worth of ability to endure damage, but with the Sorcerer’s terrible AC your enemies will cut through that damage mitigation very quickly. Don’t get complacent.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

Half-ElfPHB

Customized Origin:

  • Aquatic Half-ElfSCAG: Only in an aquatic campaign.
  • Drow Half-ElfSCAG: Good, Charisma-based innate spellcasting. The leveled spells will do a lot to help with your limited number of spells known.
  • High Half-ElfSCAG: If you want more spellcasting, you’ll get more out of the Drow Half-Elf.
  • Standard Half-ElfPHB: Sorcerers only get the typical two skills from class and two from background, and if you want to be your Party’s Face two additional skills means that you have much more flexibility without sacrificng Face skills.
  • Wood Half-ElfSCAG: Nothing that the Sorcerer needs.

Default Rules: Perfect ability score increases, allowing you to get 16’s (maybe even a 17) in Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma.

  • Aquatic Half-ElfSCAG: Only in an aquatic campaign.
  • Drow Half-ElfSCAG: Some decent innate spells, and Faerie Fire isn’t on the Sorcerer’s spell list. Even better, the DC is Charisma-based so it will be consistently reliable.
  • High Half-ElfSCAG: Sorcerer cantrips and wizard cantrips overlap almost entirely. Avoid offensive options except potentially Booming Blade since it doesn’t care about your spellcasting modifier. Generally the drow half-elf is a better choice because you get both a cantrip and some leveled innate spells.
  • Standard Half-ElfPHB: Two skills are great if you plan to be the party’s Face.
  • Wood Half-ElfSCAG: Nothing useful for the Sorcerer.

Half-OrcPHB

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, Darkvision, and one skill. Relentless Endurance is great on low-durability characters like the Sorcerer, but Savage Attacks is wasted.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

HalflingPHB

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, Lucky, and Brave. Lucky is less useful on the Sorcerer than on many other classes since most spells require other people to roll saves instead of requiring you to attack so you’re rolling far fewer d20’s than a martial character or a warlock.

  • GhostwiseSCAG: Telepathy is nice, but not especially important.
  • LightfootPHB: Naturally Stealthy is rarely useful without Cunning Action.
  • StoutPHB: Poison damage is really common, so resistance to poison on top of a solid set of core racial traits works well.

Default Rules: A bit of Dexterity is nice, but Lucky is less useful on the Sorcerer than on many other classes since most spells require other people to roll saves instead of requiring you to attack so you’re rolling far fewer d20’s than a martial character or a warlock.

  • GhostwiseSCAG: Nothing useful for sorcerers.
  • LightfootPHB: Bonus Charisma. Naturally Stealthy is rarely useful without Cunning Action.
  • StoutPHB: Nothing useful for sorcerers.

HobgoblinVGtM

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases and Darkvision. Saving Face is the big selling point here, and you can use it for high-value spell attacks or save it for a saving throw.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

Human

Customized Origin:

  • Standard: With perfect ability scores on the table for every race, there is no reason to play the Standard Human.
  • Variant: The Customizing Your Origin rules make no change to the Variant Human.

Default Rules:

  • Standard: Sorcerers really only need Charisma, so most of the bonuses are outright wasted.
  • Variant: You still get a crucial bonus to your Charisma, and you get a feat.

KenkuVGtM

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases and two skills. Expert Forgery and Mimicry will rarely be impactful. Fun theme, but nothing mechanically impressive.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

KoboldVGtM

Customized Origin: +2 increase, Darkvision, Sunlight Sensitivity. Pack Tactics can offset Sunlight Sensitivity, but if you’re suffering Disadvantage on spell attacks it’s typically easier to just switch to a spell that requires a saving throw instead. Sorcerers aren’t as heavily reliant on attack rolls as the Warlock, so Pack Tactics isn’t quite as tempting.

Default Rules: There aren’t enough leveled spells that rely on attack rolls to make Pack Tactics worthwhile for the Sorcerer, especially without a Charisma increase.

LizardfolkVGtM

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, two skills, and 13+ natural armor. The natural armor will match Mage Armor, saving you the trouble of learning it.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

LocathahLR

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, two skills, and 12+ natural armor. You won’t use anything beyond the static stuff, but Leviathan Will is a great defense against numerous problematic status conditions.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

OrcVGtM

Note that errata has corrected the multiple versions of the Orc to all provide the same traits. The Intelligence decrease has been removed, and the Primal Intuition now allows selecting two skills from a list. The Orc of Exandria entry from Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount omits the Powerful Build trait, but it’s not clear if that was an intentional change.

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, two skills, and Darkvision. Aggressive is a bad idea for the Sorcerer.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

TabaxiVGtM

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, two skills, and Darkvision. Feline Agility is the Tabaxi’s signature trait, and it’s not useful enough that the Tabaxi is an easy choice when the Standard Half-Elf is an option, but at least it’s not Aggressive so you can still use it to run away.

Default Rules: A small Charisma increase, and the increased Dexterity provides a helpful boost your AC. You also get two skills, which puts the Tabaxi close to the Standard Half-Elf, but the Half-Elf gets another ability score increase and isn’t limited to a fixed list of skills so they’re more versatile.

TieflingPHB

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increase, Darkvision, and damage resistance, plus most subraces/variants give you Charisma-based innate spellcasting, which is great for the Sorcerer. These were already great benefits for the Sorcerer prior to the introduction of the Customizing Your Origin rules, but the ability to rearrange your ability increases adds a lot of flexibility, so more of the Tiefling’s subraces/variants may be worth exploring depending on your build.

  • AsmodeusPHB/MToF: Decent spellcasting, but it won’t change your tactics in any meaningful way.
  • BaalzebulMToF: More directly offensive than the Asmodeus Tiefling, but roughly equivalent.
  • DispaterMToF: Some interesting utility options that would work well in an intrigue campaign, but I don’t know if they’ll be consistently useful in a typical adventure.
  • FiernaMToF: Great spells for social situations.
  • GlasyaMToF: Great spells if you want to be sneaky, tricky, or otherwise subtle.
  • LevistusMToF: Roughly equivalent to Asmodeus, but more ice themed.
  • MammonMToF: Situational utility options.
  • MephistophelesMToF: Flame Blade is garbage.
  • ZarielMToF: You do not want smite spells. This is not a good idea.
  • Variant: FeralSCAG: The Customizing Your Origin optional rules make the Feral variant obsolete. All it does is rearrange your ability score increases.
  • Variant: Devil’s TongueSCAG: Similar to Fierna, but more useful in combat and less useful outside of combat.
  • Variant: HellfireSCAG: Roughly equivalent to Asmodeus. The difference is mostly personal preference.
  • Variant: WingedSCAG: Permanent non-magical flight. Maybe not as fun as innate spellcasting, but likely more impactful.

Default Rules: Bonus Charisma, fire resistance, and some free spells. With the addition of variants and subraces, you have a ton of room to customize your sorcerer.

  • AsmodeusPHB/MToF: A perfectly fine option, but the Intelligence is wasted and you can find better spells from Devil’s Tongue.
  • BaalzebulMToF: The Intelligence is wasted, but access to Thaumaturgy could be nice.
  • DispaterMToF: Dexterity means better AC, and the spells are great if you want to be sneaky or tricky.
  • FiernaMToF: The Wisdom is largely wasted, but the spells are great for a Face.
  • GlasyaMToF: Dexterity means better AC, and the spells are great if you want to be sneaky or tricky.
  • LevistusMToF: Constitution means more hit points, and the spells offer a nice mix of defensive, offensive, and utility options.
  • MammonMToF: The Intelligence is wasted, and the leveled spells are highly situational.
  • MephistophelesMToF: The Intelligence is wasted, and sorcerers should rarely be in melee combat enough to use Flame Blade.
  • ZarielMToF: Way too melee-centric.
  • Variant: FeralSCAG: Bad ability spread.
  • Variant: Devil’s TongueSCAG: The replacement spells are absolutely better than the normal Tiefling spells.
  • Variant: HellfireSCAG: Burning Hands is probably worse than Hellish Rebuke for most Sorcerers.
  • Variant: WingedSCAG: Flight is a massive advantage, especially without requiring Concentration.

TortleTP

Customized Origin: 2/+1 increases, one skill, and AC fixed at 17 without worrying about actual armor. Not quite as good as the Mountain Dwarf (poison resistance, Darkvision) or the Githyanki (innate spellcasting), but pretty close and you don’t need 14 Dexterity to fill out medium armor like the Mountain Dwarf and the Githyanki do.

Default Rules: 17 natural armor is nice, but that’s really all that you get.

TritonVGtM

Customized Origin: Three +1 increases and Darkvision. The innate spellcasting is neat, but the spells are very situational.

Default Rules: Constitution and Charisma increases, plus some innate spellcasting which will help compensate for your tiny number of spells known.

VerdanAcInc

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases and one skill, but in the context of the Customizing Your Origin rule, the advantages which make the Verdan special largely vanish. Black-Blood Healing is neat but not essential, and Telepathic Insight can’t compete with races like the Kalashtar, the Vedalken, and the Yuan-Ti Pureblood.

Default Rules: Constitution and Charisma is a perfect combination for a Charisma-based spellcaster, and getting Persuasion for free is great. You’ll almost certainly be your party’s Face, and the Verdan’s Telepathic Insight can go a long way to address language barriers despite its limited capability.

Yuan-Ti PurebloodVGtM

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increase, Darkvision, poison immunity, and Magic Resistance. Very durable, but the innate spellcasting is mostly useless.

Default Rules: An excellent Charisma increase, and the comibation of Magic Resistance and Poison Immunity make you very durable. Unfortunately, the innate spellcasting is borderline useless.

Setting-specific races are address below. Not every setting allows every race, and while most races presented in the core rules and in content for the Forgotten Realms can be used in other settings, races specific to settings like Ravnica aren’t typically allowed in other settings. Talk to your DM about what races are allowed in your game. 

Races of Eberron

BugbearERLW: See above under the general Races section.

ChangelingERLW

Customized Origin: The Customizing Your Origin rule does little to improve the Changeling since their traits already lined up well with the Sorcerer’s needs, but their signature trait is still made mostly irrelevant by the ability to cast Disguise Self.

Default Rules: Not quite as flexible as the Standard Half-Elf, you give up quite a bit to get Shapechanger. Shapechanger is neat but if you want it that badly you could always learn to cast Disguise Self.

GoblinERLW: See above under the general Races section.

HobgoblinERLW: See above under the general Races section.

OrcERLW: See above under the general Races section.

KalashtarERLW

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, damage resistance, Advantage on Wisdom saving throws, and probably the best racial telepathy option.

Default Rules: A Charisma increase, and you’ll be really good at Wisdom saving throws despite not being proficient. Defensively, the Kalashtar is very solid.

ShifterERLW

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases (each subrace provides an additional +1), Darkvision, and one skill. Shifting is the Shifter’s signature trait, offering a short-duration combat buff which includes temporary hit points which can be a good defense on top of the Sorcerer’s tiny hit point maximum.

  • Beasthide: +1 AC likely won’t make a big difference unless you’re already getting some AC from another source like Mage Armor or the Draconic Bloodline’s natural armor. if you have those options you’ll be able to withstand a few hits, but you’re still using d6 hit dice so don’t get complacent because you have Beasthide.
  • Longtooth:Strength is not a good choice.
  • Swiftstride: Learn Misty Step.
  • Wildhunt: Too situational.

Default Rules: None of the Shifter’s subraces offer a Charisma increase.

  • Beasthide: Bad ability spread.
  • Longtooth: Bad ability spread.
  • Swiftstride: Swiftstride offers a Charisma bonus, and the Shifting benefit can keep you from being bogged down in melee. Shifting offers a good use for your Bonus Action and the temporary hit points reduce the need for options like False Life.
  • Wildhunt: Bad ability spread.

WarforgedERLW

Customized Origin: The Customizing Your Origin rules make no meaningful changes to the Warforged. You can move the Constitution increase around, but increasing Constitution is still the best way to use that increase.

Default Rules: Considering the fact that warforged are crafted rather than born, the idea that they can be a sorcerer with a bloodline defies logic. But mechanically, it works fine. The flexible ability increase goes into Charisma, and the Warforged’s other traits will make you more durable than a typical sorcerer before considering spells. A warforged with Mage Armor or the Draconic Bloodline’s natural armor would have an AC of 14+Dex totally unequipped, allowing you to meet the AC of characters in light armor and a shield.

Dragonmarks

While the design intent for Dragonmarks was that they would offer some innate spellcasting for everyone, every dragonmark includes an expanded spell list which is arguably a more significant benefit than most of the provided racial traits. Because the expanded spell options are such an important part of the dragonmarks, if you’re not playing a spellcaster you’re giving up a huge part of your racial traits, which makes it exceptionally difficult to justify playing a dragonmark character who can’t cast spells.

Dragonmarked DwarfERLW

Dragonmark traits replace your subrace.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Warding: Mage Armor once per day is enough, and access to Armor of Agathys is very tempting, but little else here is useful for the Sorcerer.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Warding: Bad ability spread.
Dragonmarked ElfERLW

Dragonmark traits replace your subrace.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Shadow: Most of the spellcasting is already available to the Sorcerer, but Mark of Shadow’s spell list does introduce Pass Without Trace. The Innate Spellcasting includes some staple illusion options, and the skill bonuses work great for a sneaky Sorcerer. If you want to play a stealthy sorcerer, or if you see the Arcane Trickster as too much rogue and not enough magic, this is a great choice.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Shadow: The ability increases work, and the innate spellcasting is nice, but nearly all of the dragonmark spells are already on the spell list. Still, for a sorcerer in a stealthy party this makes a lot of sense thematically and offers some helpful options to stretch your spellcasting a bit further.
Dragonmarked GnomeERLW

Dragonmark traits replace your subrace.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Scribing: Most of the spells are already on the Sorcerer’s spell list, and the other benefits are only situationally useful.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Scribing: The ability increases work, but most of the dragonmark spells are already on the Sorcerer’s spell list.
Dragonmarked Half-ElfERLW

Dragonmark traits replace some of your normal racial traits, as described in the entry for each Dragonmark.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Detection: Almost all of the spells are already on the Sorcerer’s spell list, and as much as I like See Invisibility it’s only situationally useful so there’s very little to be gained here.
  • Mark of Storm: The dragonmark spells are already on the Sorcerer’s spell list and the other benefits are far too situational.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Detection: The ability increases work, but most of the dragonmark spells are already on the Sorcerer’s spell list.
  • Mark of Storm: The ability increases work, but most of the dragonmark spells are already on the Sorcerer’s spell list.
Dragonmarked Half-OrcERLW

Dragonmark traits replace ALL of your racial traits.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Finding: Some new spells from the Druid’s spell list, plus Hunter’s Mark, but none of the spells are especially useful and the Sorcerer has no way to make Hunter’s Mark meaningful. The skill bonuses are on Wisdom-based skills which the Sorcerer has little reason to invest in.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Finding: Bad ability spread.
Dragonmarked HalflingERLW

Dragonmark traits replace your subrace.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Healing: I would only go this route if you’re desperate to have healing spells but for some reason don’t want to play the Divine Soul.
  • Mark of Hospitality: Good but not amazing. The Persuasion bonus is awesome, and innate spellcasting provides some easy utility. The spell list includes some new options like Goodberry and Aid, but the rest are already on your spell list. Consider taking Extended Spell to extend the duration of Aid to 16 hours so that you can cast it the night before adventuring and save yourself a spell slot.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Healing: Bad ability spread. If you want healing spells, look at the Divine Soul subclass.
  • Mark of Hospitality: The ability increases work, and with the exception of Sleep the entire spell list is new to the Sorcerer. Unfortunately the spells tend to be situational options which are difficult to justify with the Sorcerer’s extremely limited number of spells known.
Dragonmarked HumanERLW

Dragonmark traits replace ALL of your normal racial traits.

Customized Origin:

  • Mark of Finding: See Mark of Finding under Dragonmarked Half-Orc, above. Mechanically, the final racial traits are identical.
  • Mark of Handling: Unless you’re really worried about beasts, there’s little to be gained here. The ability to use Animal Friendship and Speak With Animals against monstrosities is neat, but very situational.
  • Mark of Making: Very little new here, and Magic Weapon doesn’t benefit you at all.
  • Mark of Passage: If you want teleportation, play an eladrin. If you want Pass Without Trace, play Mark of Shadow. This works, but everything it gives you is available in a better package.
  • Mark of Sentinel: With the exception of Shield of Faith, everything here is either already on your spell list or you don’t want to cast it.

Default Rules:

  • Mark of Finding: See Mark of Finding under Dragonmarked Half-Orc, above. Mechanically, the final racial traits are identical.
  • Mark of Handling: The ability score increases work, and many of the dragonmark spells are new to the Sorcerer’s spell list, but unless your DM is going to let you tame creatures beyond your class features this isn’t especially useful.
  • Mark of Making: The ability increases work, but most of the dragonmark spells are already on the Sorcerer’s spell list.
  • Mark of Passage: The ability increases work, but most of the dragonmark spells are already on the Sorcerer’s spell list.
  • Mark of Sentinel: Bad ability spread.

Races of Ravnica

CentaurGGTR

Customized Origin: All of the Centaur’s interesting traits are tied up in Strength.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

GoblinGGTR: See above under the general Races section.

LoxodonGGTR

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, resistance to charm and fear effects, and 12+Con natural armor. Basically a worse locathah unless you plan to put ability score increases into Constitution and ignore Dexterity entirely.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

MinotaurGGTR

Customized Origin: All of the Centaur’s interesting traits are tied up in Strength.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

Simic HybridGGTR

Customized Origin: The Customizing Your Origin rules make no meaningful changes to the Simic Hybrid. You can move the Constitution increase around, but increasing Constitution is still the best way to use that increase.

Default Rules: The flexible ability increase can go into Charisma, and some Animal Enhancement options can help fill some functions which would normally require magic, thereby opening up space for you to learn other spells.

VedalkenGGTR

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, one skill, and one tool. Vedalken Dispassion provides an excellent defensive option, and Tireless Precision can make you more effective at some non-magical stuff. If you just want durability the Yuan-Ti Pureblood may be more effective, but the Vedalken is still a very effective choice.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

Races of Theros

CentaurMOoT: See above under the Races of Ravnica section.

HumanMOoT: See above under the general Races section.

LeoninMOoT

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, Darkvision, and one skill. Daunting Roar is neat, but the range is tiny so it’s only an interesting option for melee builds. Even then, the Fallen Aasimar has a similar effect with a damage bonus and a Charisma-based DC.

Default Rules: Bad ability spread.

MinotaurMOoT: See above under the Ravnica Races section.

SatyrMOoT

Customized Origin: +2/+1 increases, two skills, one instrument, and magic resistance. While the Satyr isn’t as durable as the Yuan-Ti Pureblood, the additional skills can help you expand your non-magical capabilities, which may be worth the trade.

Default Rules: Dexterity for you AC, Charisma for your spells, Magic Resistance to keep you alive, and two free skills to help you serve as your party’s Face.

TritonMOoT: See above under the general Races section.

Races of Wildemount

AarakocraEGtW: See above under the general Races section.

AasimarEGtW: See above under the general Races section.

BugbearEGtW: See above under the general Races section.

DragonbornPHB

Wildemount presents two new Dragonborn variants, each replacing the standard Dragonborn’s ability score increases and damage resistance.

Customized Origin:

  • DraconbloodEGtW: Roughly equivalent to the standard Dragonborn, but if you’re playing your party’s Face you might enjoy Forceful Presence, and Darkvision is very helpful. If you miss the damage resistance, learn Absorb Elements.
  • RaveniteEGtW: Vengeful Assault isn’t helpful for a class that generally doesn’t use weapons.

Default Rules:

  • DraconbloodEGtW: Roughly equivalent to the standard Dragonborn, but if you’re playing your party’s Face you might enjoy Forceful Presence, and Darkvision is very helpful. If you miss the damage resistance, learn Absorb Elements.
  • RaveniteEGtW: Bad ability spread.

Elf

Wildemount elves share the core traits of PHB elves, but Wildemount adds two new subraces. See above for more information on other elf subraces.

Customized Origin:

  • Pallid ElfEGtW: The skill bonuses are decent and the Innate Spellcasting is nice, but Sleep is obsolete as soon as you get it and there are plenty of other races which provide Invisibility as an innate spell.
  • Sea ElfEGtW / MToF: See above under the general Races section.

Default Rules:

  • Pallid ElfEGtW: Bad ability spread.
  • Sea ElfEGtW / MToF: See above under the general Races section.

FirbolgsEGtW: See above under the general Races section.

GenasiEGtW: See above under the general Races section.

GoblinEGtW: See above under the general Races section.

HalflingPHB

Wildemount halflings share the core traits of PHB halflings, but Wildemount adds a new subrace. See above for information on other halfling subraces.

Customized Origin:

  • LotusdenEGtW: The innate spellcasting is decent, but it’s Wisdom-based so you’ll find that it’s unreliable due to the poor save DC compared to your sorcerer spells.

Default Rules:

  • LotusdenEGtW: Bad ability spread, and the innate spellcasting is Wisdom-based.

HobgoblinEGtW: See above under the general Races section.

GoliathEGtW: See above under the general Races section.

KenkuEGtW: See above under the general Races section.

OrcEGtW: See above, under “Races of Eberron”. Wildemount uses the updated Orc racial traits rather than the original traits published in Volo’s Guide to Monsters.

TabaxiEGtW: See above under the general Races section.

TortleEGtW: See above under the general Races section.

Skills

  • Arcana (Int): One of the most important knowledge skills, but you may not have enough Intelligence to back it up.
  • Deception (Cha): Important for a Face.
  • Insight (Wis): Helpful for a Face, but you may not have enough Wisdom to back it up.
  • Intimidation (Cha): Important for a Face.
  • Persuasion (Cha): The king of Face skills.
  • Religion (Int): One of the most important knowledge skills, but you may not have enough Intelligence to back it up.

Background

This section does not address every published background, as doing so would result in an ever-growing list of options which don’t cater to the class. Instead, this section will cover the options which I think work especially well for the class, or which might be tempting but poor choices. Racial feats are discussed in the Races section, above.

You only get two skills from your class and Sorcerers are built to make excellent Faces, so look to pick up more Face skills from your background. If you’re a Half-Elf or Variant Human, you can pick up your missing Face skills from your racial bonus proficiencies, which opens up a lot of other options. Bonus languages are also helpful; if you can get enough of them you may not need to learn Tongues.

If you’re having trouble deciding, here are some suggestions:

  • AcolytePHB: Insight and two languages.
  • City WatchSCAG: Surprisingly good, though you probably won’t get much use out of Athletics.
  • CourtierSCAG: You probably don’t have the Wisdom to back up Insight, but it’s still great on a Face, and you get a Face skill and two languages.
  • Faction AgentSCAG: Insight and your choice of a bunch of skills including the Face skills you need, plus two languages.
  • Guild ArtisanPHB: Two good skills and a language, but the artisan’s tools probably won’t be useful.
  • HermitPHB: Despite being the recommended background, this is an awful option for Sorcerers.
  • NoblePHB: A Face skill and a Language, but you probably don’t have the Intelligence to make History meaningful, and gaming sets are largely useless.
  • Urban Bounty HunterSCAG: No languages, but access to the skills you need to be a Face and some good tool options.

Feats

This section does not address every published feat, as doing so would result in an ever-growing list of options which don’t cater to the class. Instead, this section will cover feats which I think work especially well for the class or which might be tempting but poor choices.

  • AlertPHB: The bonus to Initiative is tempting because spellcasters can do so much to affect a fight if they go first, but nothing else is particularly helpful.
  • DurablePHB: Cast False Life or use Inspiring Leader instead.
  • Elemental AdeptPHB: Very tempting for sorcerers who enjoy blasting, but specializing in one element is severely limiting. If something is resistant to one element, use a different one. Changing 1’s to 2’s averages 1/6 damage per die, which is as close to nothing as you will ever see.
  • Fey TouchedTCoE: Most sorcerers learn a frustratingly small number of spells, and since Fey Touched allows you to cast your new spells using spell slots, you effectively add two spells to your pool of spells known. Unfortunately there aren’t many good 1st-level spell options for the Sorcerer. Bless is always great, but nothing else is obviously a great fit.

    For more advice on Fey Touched, see my Spellcasting Feats Breakdown.

  • Inspiring LeaderPHB: An excellent way to capitalize on your Charisma, especially if your party lacks healing magic to help pad your hit points.
  • Lightly ArmoredPHB: Mage Armor and Shield work fine.
  • LinguistPHB: Cast Tongues.
  • LuckyPHB: Amusing, but not particularly useful to Sorcerers since they don’t frequently roll attacks or saves.
  • Magic InitiatePHB: A tempting way to get cantrips from other classes, but remember that you use the spellcasting ability of that other class, and since your Wisdom and Intelligence will be poor so will your spellcasting. Consider Eldritch Blast from the Warlock or Vicious Mockery from the Bard, but otherwise stick to utility options. Also note that since you can use spell slots to cast the spell your learned if it’s from a class in which you have levels, you might stick to sorcerer to get another spell known.

    For more advice on Magic Initiate, see my Spellcasting Feats Breakdown.

  • Metamagic AdeptTCoE: An additional Metamagic and two more Sorcery Points. An excellent addition to the Sorcerer without adding much complexity. Keep in mind that the two additional Sorcery Points can only be used for Metamagic, so you can’t use them to make spell slots or anything like that. For advice on Metamagic and the Metamagic Adept feat, see my Sorcerer Metamagic Breakdown.
  • ObservantPHB: You don’t have the ability scores to back this up.
  • ResilientPHB: More saving throw proficiencies never hurt, but save this for after you have 20 Charisma. You already get proficiency in Constitution saves, so unlike most spellcasters you can justify taking something else.
  • Ritual CasterPHB: Sorcerers can’t cast spells as rituals by default like a cleric or wizard can. Ritual Caster removes the need to know spells like Detect Magic which are basically only cast as rituals, and it opens up options like Find Familiar which are omitted from the Sorcerer’s spell list.
  • Shadow TouchedTCoE: Most sorcerers learn a frustratingly small number of spells, and since Shadow Touched allows you to cast your new spells using spell slots, you effectively add two spells to your pool of spells known. Unfortunately there aren’t many good 1st-level spell options for the Sorcerer.

    For more advice on Shadow Touched, see my Spellcasting Feats Breakdown.

  • SkilledPHB: Proficiencies are great, especially since Sorcerers get few skills, but if you really need skills you should probably play a Half-elf or start as a Rogue.
  • Spell SniperPHB: Great for spellcasters who like to make spell attacks. Selecting this at first level as a variant Human can be really helpful when you’re so heavily reliant on cantrips for damage output. You’re not locked into cantrips from your own class, so consider picking up Eldritch Blast.

    For more advice on Spell Sniper, see my Spellcasting Feats Breakdown.

  • TelekineticTCoE: While the Sorcerer does have options to use their Bonus Action, most of them involve spending spell slots, and even if you have a mountain of spell slots to burn your Bonus Action is still going to be idle on many turns. In those cases, Telekinetic adds a useful way to spend your Bonus Action to have a tactical impact. Moving a creature 5 feet often isn’t a big deal, but it’s enough to break grapples and sometimes it’s enough to force enemies into hazardous places like the area of ongoing spells.
  • TelepathicTCoE: Unlike many sources of telepathy, including those offered by some races, this telepathy still uses languages, so the benefits are minimally appealing even for a Face. You do get to increase a mental ability score, which reduces the cost of the feat, but the benefits are primarily the ability to communicate while being stealthy.
  • ToughPHB: Cast False Life or use Inspiring Leader instead.
  • War CasterPHB: A really great feat, but generally best left to spellcasters who can justify spending time in melee. With d6 hit points and no armor, that’s not you.

Weapons

  • Dagger: Carry one or two for utility purposes at any level, but the damage isn’t good enough to make it better than shocking grasp. You can make opportunity attacks with a dagger, but that’s not something you should be doing frequently.
  • Light Crossbow: Until you hit level 5, a light crossbow can do more damage than firebolt. If you have at least 14 Dexterity, a light crossbow is probably a better option than firebolt when you just need to do some damage, and you can defer taking firebolt until you’ve gained some levels so that you can spend your limited number of cantrips on something more interesting like ray of frost or a utility cantrip.
  • Quarterstaff: A great cosmetic item, but totally useless in combat. Use Shocking Grasp or a Dagger instead.

Armor

Cast Mage Armor and learn Shield. At low levels that will be enough to keep you safe, but at high levels you’ll likely dump mage armor because enemies’ attack bonuses will be so high that it will stop being helpful. You might keep shield around for those rare times when it would deflect an attack, but you’re better served by other spells like Blur or Blink.

Multiclassing

This section briefly details so obvious and enticing multiclass options, but doesn’t fully explore the broad range of multiclassing combinations. For more on multiclassing, see my Practical Guide to Multiclassing.

  • Artificer: Starting with a level in artificer gets you a lot. Proficiency in medium armor, shields, and Constitution saving throws are really tempting (though the Sorcerer already gets proficiency in Constitution saves, so that’s not as appealing for the Sorcerer as it is for the Warlock and the Wizard), plus artificers get access to some low-level spells which the Sorcerer doesn’t like Cure Wounds. The Artificer’s multiclassing rules allow you to round up when determining spell slots (other spellcasting class round down), so while you don’t learn spells of new spell levels as quickly you still get the same spell slot progression. The Artificer also gets Ritual Casting, which is useful since sorcerers don’t get ritual casting.
  • Bard: Bards also use Charisma for spellcasting, and since they’re full casters you won’t lost spell slots as you level. You still delay access to higher level spells, but you can get Jack of All Trades and Song of Rest from two levels. A third level gets you Expertise in two skills and a Bardic College which can offer some interesting options, but I’m extremely hesitant to delay high-level spells that much.
  • Cleric: Several domains offer proficiency in heavy armor, and the Cleric’s 1st-level spells include several powerful options including Bless and Healing Word which can have a huge tactical impact with little or no Wisdom. A 1-level class dip gets the Sorcerer a lot of great things, and you don’t need to do it at 1st level.
  • Rogue: Expertise would be nice for your Face skills, and Cunning Action gives you a great way to get out of melee, but I wouldn’t go past level 1.
  • Warlock: The addition of Hexblade makes the Warlock a powerful multiclass option. You get proficiency with medium armor and shields, you can use weapons with your Charisma instead of your Strength or Dexterity, and you get access to wonderful spells like Eldritch Blast. The Warlock’s spell slots recharge on a short rest, making them useful fodder for your Sorcery Points. If you devote two levels you can pick up Agonizing Blast to make Eldritch Blast exceptionally powerful, but I think that the sorcerer spellcasting you’ll give up will me more important than making Eldritch Blast do a little bit more damage. If you take three levels, you can get a Pact Boon and potentially trade your Invocation for something that improves it further.

Magic Items

Common Magic Items

  • Clockwork AmuletXGtE: Only works once per day, but in many encounters a guaranteed 10 on attack roll will guarantee a hit (Players will hit an average CR-appropriate enemy’s AC on an 8 or better. See my article on The Fundamental Math of Character Optimization.) For high-value attacks like an attack with a leveled spell like Chromatic Orb, that can be great insurance. Even better: you don’t need to attune this, so you can rotate through a stack of them if your DM is somehow crazy enough to let you get away with it.

Uncommon Magic Items

  • Bloodwell VialTCoE: +1 to spell attacks and save DC’s, and you can recover up to 5 Sorcery Points when you take a Short Rest. The extra Sorcery Points are a huge improvement to the Sorcerer’s sustainability, allowing you to stretch your capabilities over a long adventuring day much more easily.
  • Broom of FlyingDMG: Easily overlooked, but one of the best ways to get flight for any character. It doesn’t require attunement, and has a fly speed of 50 feet, though many medium characters will exceed the 200 pound limit to reduce the speed to 30 feet, but even then 30 feet fly speed with no duration cap and requiring no action after speaking the command word is absolutely incredible. The only drawback is that you’re using the item’s speed rather than giving yourself a fly speed, so things that improve your speed won’t make the broom move faster, and you can’t Dash with the broom. Even so, I honestly can’t justify why this is only Uncommon considering how exceptionally good it is.
  • Cloak of ProtectionDMG: Good on any character, but it requires Attunement and it’s not very interesting.
  • Feywild ShardTCoE: This item is super weird. It grants access to the Wild Magic table for all sorcerers, but it’s primary useful for the Wild Magic Sorcerer since they can use it more than once per day. You can also attach the shard to a weapon, replicating the benefits of a Ruby of the War Mage. The Wild Magic benefits are basically the sole purpose of the item, as it doesn’t provide a bonus to spell attacks or save DC’s like a Bloodwell Vial does, but if you really enjoy Wild Magic this may be worthwhile.
  • Goggles of NightDMG: Crucial for races which don’t get Darkvision, especially if your party can’t cast the Darkvision spell for you.
  • Pearl of PowerDMG: Useful on any spellcaster.
  • Slippers of Spider ClimbingDMG: The next-best thing to flight. Walking up a wall has all the benefits of flying out of reach.
  • Stone of Good LuckDMG: Excellent on literally any character, but if you just want better defense a Cloak of Protection may be more effective. Stone of Good Luck shines if you’re heavily reliant on skills and ability checks (like Face skills), and ability checks include Initiative rolls and checks to counter/dispel things.
  • Wand of DetectionDMG: This saves you the trouble of learning Detect Magic, which is a tragically disappointing way to spend one of your limited spells known.
  • Wand of the War MageDMG: Helpful if you’re heavily reliant on cantrips like Fire Bolt, but a Bloodwell Vial will be considerably more useful.
  • Winged BootsDMG: Excellent on its own, but Winged Boots are more limited in use than a broom of flying, and they require Attunement.

Rare Magic Items

  • Amulet of HealthDMG: Setting your Constitution to 19 means that you don’t need to put Ability Score Increases into it unless you’re really certain that you want 20 Constitution. Less ASI’s into Constitution means more roo m for feats.
  • Armor of ResistanceDMG: Excellent, but unpredictable in most games since you can’t perfectly predict what sort of damage you’ll face. Fire is a safe choice.
  • Astral ShardTCoE: While it doesn’t provide a bonus to spell attacks or spell save DC’s, the Astral Shard is still a phenomenally useful item. The teleportation effect is basically Misty Step with half the range. If you’re short on Sorcery Points, spend a Bonus Action to convert a 1st-level spell, then spend an inexpensive Metamagic on a cantrip or something. That’s a bit of a pain, but in most cases you’ll probably just cast a leveled spell with a Metamagic thrown on and teleport out of harms way. Regardless of how you trigger the effect, the teleportation removes the need to learn Misty Step while still allowing you to escape grapples, restraints, and all manner of other problematic situations.
  • Barrier Tattoo (Rare)TCoE: Way better than Mage Armor and you don’t need to raise your Dexterity past 14 to still have good AC.
  • Bloodwell VialTCoE: +2 to your spell attacks and spell DC’s. See Bloodwell Vial under Uncommon Magic Items for more.
  • Bracers of DefenseDMG: Get a Barrier Tattoo (Rare).
  • Cloak of DisplacementDMG: Among the best defensive items in the game. Taking damage from any source (spells, etc.) suppresses the effect temporarily, so make a point to kill anything that can damage you without an attack roll.
  • Elemental Essence ShardTCoE: This is essentially four items with the same mechanic. The d4 rolled to determine the shard’s element is only rolled once (likely when the DM awards it to the player), so you’re locked into whatever element you get on that roll. Still, the effects are good.
    • Air: Nearly as good as teleportation, 60 feet of flight without provoking opportunity attacks will easily get you out of melee if you don’t want to be there. It won’t get you out of restraints, unfortunately, so teleportation options like Misty Step may still be helpful. It’s unclear how this works if you’re grappled since it doesn’t give you a fly speed (which the Grappled condition would then reduce to 0), but as a DM I would rule that being Grappled would prevent this flight.
    • Earth: Similar in many ways to Absorb Elements. It’s not quite as good since you need to guess the damage type, but if your enemies are using spears it’s pretty easy to guess “piercing”.
    • Fire: The simplest option, 2d10 damage to a single target every time you use metamagic will add up quickly.
    • Water: Break grapples, get yourself out of melee reach, and knock enemies prone so that your melee allies can beat on them.
  • Elven ChainDMG: One less AC than Barrier Tattoo (Rare), but it doesn’t require attunement, so in a game with abundant magic items Elven Chain may be a better choice.
  • Far Realm ShardTCoE: Simple, easy to use, and effective. The damage is surprisingly good, and Frightened is a great debuff even if it only lasts one round. Many enemies have poor Charisma saves, so you can expect to get a lot of use out of this for very little effort.
  • Ring of ProtectionDMG: Cloak of Protection is lower rarity and has the same effect.
  • Ring of ResistanceDMG: A fine item in a vaccuum, but a Ring of Spell Storing full of Absorb Elements will be much more effective.
  • Ring of Spell StoringDMG: Fill it with Absorb Elements and Shield, and recharge it whenever possible and this is a spectacular defensive asset.
  • Shadowfell ShardTCoE: This item is extremely powerful, but it’s unclear how the timing works. If you use a metamagic option on a spell and then curse a creature targeted by that spell, can you cause them to suffer Disadvantage on the save against the spell? For example, could you cast Fireball and cause a creature to suffer Disadvantage on the Dexterity save for that same Fireball? Since this item is already so powerful, I’m inclined to believe that the curse effect begins after the immediate effects of the spell, so Fireball wouldn’t benefit, and while the target wouldn’t suffer Disadvantage on their initial save against Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, they would suffer Disadvantage on the save made at the end of their next turn.

    Even with that conservatice, cautious ruling, this is still a very powerful item, allowing you to dramatically exceed the benefits of Heightened Spell at the cost of as little as one Sorcery Point. For example: you could target a creature with a cantrip that you’ve enhanced with metamagic (it doesn’t matter which, literally any of them will sufficer), and even if your cantrip is unsuccessful, you can then curse the target with your Shadowfell Shard. Pick your party’s favorite type of saving throw, then until the of your next turn you can hammer on the target with spells and special features which target that saving throw.

    Your Sorcery Points are the only limitation on usage, so you’re free to repeat this every round at very little cost. This can turn low-level spells like Maximilian’s Earthen Grasp or Tasha’s Hideous Laughter into a nearly guaranteed death sentence for even high-level foes. Spamming a metamagic-enhanced Mind Sliver in order to repeat the curse effect and pile on a 1d4 save penalty is nearly unbeatable for most creatures, and if you have two or three suitable spells which target differing saves you can make this combo work against nearly any creature you meet. Legendary Resistances and resistance to spells are basically the only thing you need to worry about, and even Legendary Resistances will fall apart if you have a couple allies with save-or-suck spells.

  • Wings of FlyingDMG: Broom of Flying is much better, lower rarity, and doesn’t require attunement.

Very Rare Magic Items

  • Absorbing TattooTCoE: Good, but too high rarity to devote to a single damage type. Get a Ring of Spell Storing and fill it with Absorb Elements.
  • Spellguard ShieldDMG: Basically only useful against spellcasters, but if you’re facing a spellcaster there are few better defenses.
  • Barrier Tattoo (Very Rare)TCoE: The fixed AC matches full plate, so you don’t need to worry about Dexterity to boost your AC and you don’t even suffer Disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks.
  • Bloodwell VialTCoE: +3 to your spell attacks and spell DC’s. See Bloodwell Vial under Uncommon Magic Items for more.
  • Manual of Bodily HealthDMG: Permanent Constitution bonus and raises your cap by 2. Unless you’re using a magic item that fixes your Constitution as a specific score, this is excellent.
  • Staff of FireDMG: Good go-to spells a few times per day. This may be good enough that you don’t need to learn Fireball, but upcasting Fireball is incredibly effective so you might still want to learn it.
  • Staff of IceDMG: Cone of Cold for quick AOE damage and Wall of Ice for a combination of damage, area control, and utility. Wall of Ice is a good spell that’s normally exclusive to the Wizard’s spell list, and it can be a useful utility in addition to its offensive uses.
  • Staff of PowerDMG: A +2 quarterstaff, +2 to spell attacks (though not to spell DC’s for some reason, so you may want another focus), +2 to both AC and to saving throws, 20 charges, and 9 spells which you can cast. This is powerful, versatile, and all around just an exceptionally powerful item.
  • Tome of Leadership and InfluenceDMG: Permanent Charisma bonus and raises your cap by 2.

Legendary Magic Items

  • Cloak of InvisibilityDMG: Invisibility is extremely powerful in 5e. Note that this is just the invisible condition, not the spell spell Invisibility, so you can still attack or whatever while invisible.
  • Ioun Stone (Mastery)DMG: Proficiency Bonuses apply to a lot of things and a +1 bonus goes a long way. But Attunement is precious and you’ll probably only get one legendary item. You can get +1 to all saves and all ability checks with a Stone of Good Luck rather than just ones where you have proficiency, and they’re Uncommon so they should be easy to find by this level.
  • Ioun Stone (Mastery)DMG: Proficiency Bonuses apply to a lot of things and a +1 bonus goes a long way. Attacks, saves, skills, etc. all benefit. However, most sorcerers rely mostly on spells which require saving throws so it’s not as beneficial as it would be for other characters. A Stone of Good Luck may be just as useful.
  • Ring of Spell TurningDMG: Given the choice, I would much rather haqve a Mantle of Spell Resistance simply because the Ring of Spell Turning doesn’t provide any protection against area effect spells. Otherwise, this is a really fun item, and if it provided Advantage on saves against area of effect spells it would shoot straight up to blue.
  • Ring of Three WishesDMG: Learn Wish and give this to someone in your party who can’t cast spells so that they can use it to give everyone permanent damage resistance.

    For more help with Wish, see my Practical Guide to Wish.

  • Robe of the ArchmagiDMG: Combine the benefits of a Very Rare spellcasting focus, a Barrier Tattoo (Rare), and a Mantle of Spell Resistance. Those are three absolutely fantastic items, and combiing them on one item is spectacular.
  • Scarab of ProtectionDMG: An upgrade from the Mantle of Spell Resistance, the Scarab of Protection adds a limited benefit against necromancy and undead creatures, and doesn’t take up your cloak slot, leaving you free to take items like a Cloak of Protection or Cloak of Invisibility instead.

Example Build – Dragonborn Sorcerer (Draconic)

Jesshann the Dragonborn Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer

Orange sparks shoot from sharp talons in the dark, glinting off of a hand encased in deep red scales. Yellow reptilian eyes catch and hold your attention as the large figure steps into the light—clad in a rich, emerald green velvet robe, a black leather belt with pouches slung low across the hips. Though her age is hard to guess, the smirk on the Dragonborn’s face belies a sense of mischief, and perhaps trickery.

— Boxed text provided by dScryb(affiliate link)

This is a “Staple Build”. This build is simple, and relies on options from the SRD and the Basic Rules wherever possible. If you need a functional build with nothing fancy or complicated, this is a great place to start.

  1. The Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer is very similar to the Evoker Wizard. With an emphasis on a specific element rather than a specific school, you trade the ability to easily switch elements for better usage of a wider variety of spells.

Abilities

We will mostly assume the point buy abilities suggested above.

BaseIncreased
Str810
Dex1414
Con1414
Int1212
Wis1010
Cha1516

Race

Dragonborn. The Charisma increase is the biggest draw, and I haven’t used the Dragonborn in a staple build yet, so I really want to double down on the draconic theme of the character. You’ll need to choose a draconic ancestor to determine your breath weapon and your damage resistance. Personally I always prefer cones over lines, but that’s mostly personal preference. Also keep in mind that you’ll be able to add damage resistance using your bloodline features starting at level 6, so choose different ancestors for your race and for your class.

Since staple builds are limited to the SRD and the Basic Rules, we don’t have a ton of spells to choose from, which means that the dragon ancestor you choose for Draconic Bloodline should be a fire dragon. I recommend either cold or poison for your racial dragon ancestor. Cold will be more useful offensively, but there are a lot of enemies that deal poison damage which makes poison resistance very useful defensively.

Skills and Tools

With high Charisma and access to all four Face skills, there is little reason for you to not be the party’s Face. Between your background and your class skills, try to end up with Deception, Intimidation, and Persuasion. Get Insight if it’s convenient, but your Wisdom isn’t high enough to be especially good at it so hopefully someone in your party can fill in the gap.

Background

Acolyte, Criminal, Noble, and Soldier all get you one of the Face skills we want, but there’s no option to get two. If no one else in the party has Thieves’ Tools proficiency, take Criminal. Otherwise I recommend Noble so that you can get the three Charisma-based Face skills.

Feats

Sorcerers only really need Charisma, so feats can be a great option. Draconic Bloodline’s Elemental Affinity feature emphasizes one element, which makes Elemental Adept a particularly appealing option.

Levels

LevelFeat(s) and FeaturesNotes and Tactics
1
  • Draconic Bloodline
  • Dragon Ancestor
  • Draconic Resilience
  • Spellcasting
  • Cantrips Known:
    • Chill Touch
    • Mage Hand
    • Prestidigitation
    • Ray of Frost
  • Spells Known:

For your starting gear, take a light crossbow, a component pouch or arcane focus, either pack, and two daggers.

We get a lot at first level, and there are a lot of decision points. Things are a little less daunting at higher levels, but we have a lot of choices to make at first level.

First we get stuff from Draconic Boodline. We need to choose a Dragon Ancestor, and since fire spells are more common than other damage spells in the SRD, I strongly recommend a fire dragon ancestor. Once we get elemental affinity at 6th level, that will present a significant damage boost across most spell levels, including cantrips.

Draconic Resilience matches Mage Armor, which saves us a spell known, and on top of that we get an extra hit point per level. That makes us very durable compared to other sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards.

Four cantrips is more cantrips than any other spellcaster. We have lots of great options. However, keep in mind that your light crossbow is a perfectly viable combat option. Even with just 14 Dexterity, +4 to hit and 1d8+2 damage will likely net more average damage than you can score with a cantrip. Eventually Fire Bolt will be your go-to combat option, but for now we can focus on more interesting options. Chill Touch gives us one of the Sorcerer’s few options for dealing necrotic damage, and it’s a great fallback when you face enemies with problematic damage resistances. Ray of Frost provides a nice crowd control option. That’s plenty of offensive options at this level, so we have room to use the rest of our cantrips on utility.

For our leveled spells we’ll pick up general staples. Shield is a powerful defensive option at every level, and Sleep is powerful enough at low levels to end an encounter outright, but you may want to retrain it later when.

2
  • Font of Magic
  • New Spell Known:

Font of Magic is the Sorcerer’s most iconic class feature. Sorcery Points allow you to create additional spell slots, but the primary appeal is Metamagic. We don’t get Metamagic until 3rd level, so for now it’s basically just a free 1st-level spell slot.

At this level we’ll learn Burning Hands. It’s probably redundant with your breath weapon, so use your breath weapon first. We mostly want it for when we pick up Elemental Affinity at 6th level.

3
  • Metamagic
    • Empowered Spell
    • Quickened Spell
  • New Spell Known:

3rd level introduces Metamagic. You get two choices now and two more later, giving you a total of 4 choices. There are 8 options, so obviously we’ll need to skip some. We’ll take Empowered Spell and Quickened Spell. Empowered Spell insulates us against poor damage rolls, and you’ll get more use out of Empowered Spell at low levels than you will from Quickened Spell because you have so few Sorcery Points to spend, and rerolling three damage dice can provide a relatively large boost at this level.

Scorching Ray is a reliable damage option, but it’s not very exciting. Keep in mind that Elemental Affinity will only apply to one damage roll per spell, but that also means that you only need to hit with one of the three rays to get the bonus damage.

4
  • Ability Score Improvement (Charisma 16 -> 18)
  • New Cantrips Known:
  • New Spell Known:

At this level our Charisma increases. More spell attack bonus means that cantrips will be considerbaly more reliable than a crossbow, so between the improved attack bonus and adding Fire Bolt, it’s likely time to retire your crossbow.

Blindness/Deafness is an excellent debuff. Being blind makes it hard to target enemies with spells, and Disadvantage on attacks is a huge debuff. However, it works on Constitution saves so it’s not reliably against big burly enemies which typically rely on weapon attacks.

5
  • New Spell Known:

If you haven’t already retired your crossbow, now is the time. Even the cantrips we’ve selected with the least damage now deal 2d8 (avg. 9), easily outpacing your crossbow at 1d8+2 (avg. 6.5).

5th level also introduces 3rd-level spells. Take Fireball. That gives us a big AOE damage option, so consider retraining Sleep for utility options like Detect Magic if you’re not using it frequently.

6
  • Elemental Affinity
  • New Spell Known:

Elemental Affinity gives us a serious boost to all of our fire spells. Fire Bolt jumps to 2d10+4. Adding the boost on top of AOE spells like Burning Hands and Fireball makes them especially potent because the damage boost applies to every target.

7
  • New Spell Known:

Wall of Fire is the first area control option we’ve taken. The first damage roll will benefit from Elemental Affinity, but the additional damage after that won’t. Use Wall of Fire to alter the layout of a fight; split up groups of enemies so that enemies are forced to to suffer extra damage to reach you and your allies. Once enemies are separated they’ll either take the damage to get to you, or they’ll be stuck waiting while you kill their allies.

8
  • Ability Score Improvement (Charisma 18 -> 20)
  • New Spell Known:

Another Charisma increase means better spell attacks, higher DC’s, more damage from Elemental Affinity, and more dice from Empowered Spell.

Polymorph adds a powerful buff option for yourself or for your allies, but you can also use it to turn enemies into something harmless.

By this level you have enough Sorcery Points that you should be experimenting with Quickened Spell. Keep in mind that you still can’t cast cast two leveled spells in a turn (unless you got a second Action from something like Action Surge), so Quickened Spell typically means that you’re doing something else with your Action like casting a Cantrip.

9
  • New Spell Known:

5th level spells are important because they’re the highest-level spell slots which you can create with Sorcery Points. Unfortunately, the SRD and the Basic Rules contain no fire damage spells at this level. Instead, rely on lower-level spells cast using 5th-level spell slots. Fireball cast as a 5th-level spell deals 10d6 damage (avg. 35) compared to Cone of Cold’s 8d8 (avg. 36), so the gap in damage is already negligible, and Elemental Affinity will make Fireball more effective.

Empowered Spell is more effective for spells with fewer but larger dice, which should be enough that Cone of Cold can do more damage than Fireball if you want to spend a Sorcery Point to buff it. And if you’re going to cast your high-level spell slot, spending a Sorcery Point to get some more power is worth the cost.

That comparison really calls attention to how Sorcerers can adjust their limited number of spells on the fly to get more versatility from their relatively limited number of spells known.

10
  • Metamagic
  • New Cantrips Known:
  • New Spell Known:

We get some great stuff at this level. An additional metamagic option gives us even more ways to customize our spells. Using Twinned Spell on single-target spells like Blindness/Deafness and Hold Monster means that we can target additional enemies as though we were casting those spells using higher-level spell slots, by using Twinned Spell. You can also twin powerful spells like Polymorph which are limited to single targets.

11

6th-level spells introduce our first spell slots that we can’t create using Sorcery Points. They’re our “big guns”, even well into high levels, and since spellcasters get so few high-level spell slots you really need to get a lot out of each of them.

Sunbeam, while its initial damage is lower than lower-level options like Cone of Cold, you can use it every round for a full minute, dealing out a huge amount of damage with a single spell slot. It’s also one of the only ways for the Sorcerer to deal radiant damage, and blinding foes is really effective. If you use Quickened Spell to cast it, you cast the initial beam as a Bonus Action and you can still use your Action on the same turn to fire another beam.

This is also the last level at which the Sorcerer learns a new spell at every level. Instead, you’ll learn one new spell each time that you get access to a new spell level. Expect to rely on your lower-level spells cast with higher-level spell slots, and retrain any low-level spells which you’re not using.

12
  • Ability Score Improvement (Constitution 14 -> 16)

This is our fist ability score increase that we don’t really need, so if you’ve decided to experiment with feats now is the time. Otherwise, enjoy a pile of extra hit points.

13
  • New Spell Known:

Fire Storm’s damage actually isn’t all that impressive. 7d10 (avg. 38.5) is actually less than you would get from Cone of Cold cast as a 7th-level spell (10d8, avg. 45). Fire Storm’s big appeal (beyond the damage type) is that you can position the cubes very flexibly to avoid your allies. You can also use Empowered Spell to reroll low dice, and since Fire Storm uses d10’s you’ll get a lot of mileage out of Empowered Spell.

14

Dragon Wings means free, persisten flight without maintaining concentration or spending a spell slot. If you’re fighting, you should be flying.

15
  • New Spell Known:

Incendiary Cloud is an all-around fantastic offensive option. It deals roughly the same damage as a fireball cast as an 8th-level spell every round for a full minute in a reasonably large area.

16
  • Ability Score Improvement (Constitution 16 -> 18)

Oh look, more hit points.

17
  • Metamagic
  • New Spell Known:

At this level cantrips recieve their final damage boost, raising Fire Bolt to an impressive 4d10+5 damage.

Meteor Swarm is the biggest AOE damage spell in the game, totalling 40d6+5 damage (avg. 145). Use Empowered Spell to boost the damage and you can destroy entire encounters (including the terrain) in a single turn.

18

Draconic Presence is a nice way to handle crowds, but if you’re in a situation where diplomacy isn’t an option you’ll have better luck with Meteor Swam.

19
  • Ability Score Improvement (Constitution 18 -> 20)

Still more hit points!

20

Recovering sorcery points on a short rest is great. 4 points means two quickened spells.

Sours: https://rpgbot.net/dnd5/characters/classes/sorcerer/

5e sorcerer

Dungeons & Dragons: What Are the Absolute Best Sorcerer Spells in the Game?

Spellcasting is not the same for every class in Dungeons & Dragons, and Sorcerers are among some of the most unique spellcasters in the game. Metamagic allows Sorcerers to shape spells to their specific needs, which means that the landscape of the weaknesses and strengths to the entire list of spells changes fundamentally where Sorcerers are concerned.

That means that the general guidelines for the best spells in the game go out the window, leaving certain options as absolute must-haves for Sorcerers depending on their Metamagic choices. Not all of the Metamagic options are equally useful, and which spells are the best for a particular build will vary based on what has been selected.

RELATED: How Critical Role Has Expanded From A D&D Play Show To A Media Empire

One of the most immediately apparent builds would be a stealthy Sorcerer who utilizes Subtle Spell in unique ways. With this build, Charm Person becomes far more useful when Subtle Spell hides the gestures and incantations that so often make it obvious magical trickery is involved. Spells like Invisibility and Silent Image can be similarly enhanced to throw those pesky NPCs off a Sorcerer's scent.

Perhaps one of the most powerful applications of Metamagic is to take spells that are already great and enhance their usefulness. Hypnotic Pattern is one of the best crowd control spells in the game, but with Careful Spell, a caster can protect themselves and their allies from its area of effect. Suddenly, the 30-foot cube around the party becomes a safe haven from such area of effect spells, and Hypnotic Pattern becomes almost a necessity for casters who pick that particular option.

Spell slots are arguably a more valuable and limited resources for a Sorcerer than Metamagic, which is partly useful for helping stretch those precious spell slots as far as they can go. This can ensure that a caster gets the most they can out of each casting. Save-or-suck spells (offensive options that have no effect when the target succeeds a save) run the risk of wasting a slot. Spells like Disintegrate and Reverse Gravity become far more valuable when Heightened Spell helps ensure their success. Though think twice about combining the ability with spells like Hold Person -- the Metamagic won't apply to subsequent saves, so you may be burning a spell slot and Sorcery Points just for a single turn of combat.

RELATED: D&D: How DMs Can Create a Fun Maze (& How Can Players Beat It)

Perhaps no Metamagic option changes what spells are best for a Sorcerer than Twinned Spell. Multiplying a spell that targets one creature into one that can target two, Twined Spell makes any spell that requires concentration better because it doubles the use of that concentration. Polymorph and Haste, both extremely versatile and powerful spells in their own right, become must-haves for Sorcerers who double their effectiveness. By amplifying the powers of two party members for the cost of one, a Sorcerer can hang back as their twin T. Rexes wreak havoc on the enemy or their speedster allies dart through combat slicing monsters apart in a blur.

Metamagic is one of the coolest abilities in Dungeons & Dragons, and it's interesting to see its effect on what spells work best for Sorcerers. The situations that allow for Charm Person or Hypnotic Pattern can multiply significantly, and spells that were already overpower only become more so when used correctly. Sorcerers are a special kind of spellcaster that take some figuring out, but once a player does that, the possibilities are endless.

KEEP READING: Dungeons & Dragons: What Are a Lich's Deadliest Spells?

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Sours: https://www.cbr.com/dnd-5e-best-sorcerer-spells/

This Sorcerer guide is a power that beats within your heart.

Take these words and wield them as is your birthright and become the greatest Sorcerer the land has seen. Remember that the power was within you this whole time.

We also offer a full list of other great character optimisation guides for D&D.

Contents:

Introduction:

Sorcerers are one of the most intriguing casting classes in Dungeons and Dragons. With their innate ability to wield magic, they are powerful, intimidating, and can cause a lot of destruction in battle. Not to mention their abilities to move around social circles and manipulate situations to their will. 

Sorcerers are a challenge. They lack the versatility of a Wizard, but share many of the same capabilities, and almost all of the same spells. Where the Wizard is powerful because they own a tool for every problem, the Sorcerer is powerful because they own a few good tools and can use them to fix any problem. Sorcerers also make one of the best Faces in the game due to their skill list and dependence on Charisma. The Sorcerer’s spell list allows them to serve as a Blaster, Controller, Striker, and Utility Caster.

Sorcerers can use elemental abilities to attack and hit hard, without even touching their opponent. Although sending them directly onto the battlefield is a death sentence, they are a mighty asset to any party.

From this point forward, the common colour coding is being used:

Sky Blue = Top of the line choice. Sorcerer optimization starts here.

Blue = Very strong choice for Sorcerers, but not amazing.

Black = Solid choice. There are better options, but this is more than serviceable

Purple = Not top tier. It may have niche use, but better options exist

Red = Mechanically weak. If you feel it fits your concept, go for it, but you will likely be less effective

Keep in mind that this is an optimisation guide and all of these categorizations are simply suggestions. These suggestions are based around playing to sorcerers’ abilities and enhancing powers that are unique to the class.

If something that I don’t rank high would play into a storyline that you want to use, feel free to take what excited you. You know your game better than I do.

Sorcerer Class Features

  • Hit Dice: Your hit die is 1d6, which isn’t great. You’re not a wizard, but you’re still pretty squishy, so it’s for the best that you stay out of combat for a while in the beginning.
  • Weapon Proficiency: Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows. Basic stuff, can help in a pinch but here’s a tip: use your super cool magical powers!
  • Saving Throws: Constitution saves are probably the most common saves. Charisma saves won’t come up as often.
  • Skills: You’ve got a few good options to choose from. More on that in the skills section, but you should probably grab at least one charisma based skill.
  • Spellcasting: This is where all your power is going to come from. You were born with magic in your blood, so use it to your advantage. You’ve pretty much got all of the spell slots you need since you’re not going to be doing any melee fighting. You can choose from a huge list of spells, but you should choose them with your sorcerous origin in mind to maximize your power.
  • Ability Score Improvements: You can increase ability scores (one by 2 points or two by 1 point) at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 19. You can’t go above 20 in any ability score. Start by maxing charisma (and maybe some con) and then go for feats.
  • Sorcerous Restoration: You can restore 4 expended sorcery points (see font of magic section) per short rest. Sorcery points are your friend, you always want to have them.

Stats

  • Str:Strength is all but a dump stat for sorcerers. Although they harbor amazing powers, they’re not going to do well in a fight. It’s better to keep your sorcerer on the sidelines and casting, where they can do the most damage.
  • Dex:Dexterity will come in handy for your sorcerer during combat, because they are more likely to be flighting than fighting. It will also help keep them safe, as it influences your character’s armor class. Hiding and passive perception will also do loads of good to keep your sorcerer alive and conscious in the early game.
  • Con: Constitution is important for classes across the board. Since sorcerers are notoriously squishy, this will be an important stat to note since you’re in need of a high con modifier.
  • Int:Intelligence can be helpful for sorcerers with certain class skills, however it definitely won’t be your top priority.  Or anything close to that.
  • Wis: Wisdom will likely come in handy at some point during your game. Anyone who has played as a sorcerer knows that staying alive can be a bit of a struggle, and a high wis modifier definitely increases your odds of survival.
  • Cha:Charisma is of utmost importance, as it is your casting stat. This should probably be your highest stat.

Best Sorcerer Races

Anything with +Cha is solid Dex or Con should be the second stat, if you can. Defensive bonuses are also useful early, though some options may be less effective later.

  • Aarakocra: [+2 DEX, +1 WIS] Surprisingly solid choice. A dex boost is always helpful for a sorcerer, though wis doesn’t do much. Aarakocra also have proficiency with unarmed strikes, which could come in handy if it came to that. The flight might also come in handy for casting.
  • Aasimar: [+2 CHA] You always want charisma boosts for a sorcerer. Celestial resistance also comes in handy for self defense.
    • Protector: [+1 WIS] Extra wis isn’t gonna help much, but the other race features are solid if you want to choose a protector for your story.
    • Scourge: [+1 CON] Boosts to both cha and con are ideal, making a scourge aasimar one of the best choices.
    • Fallen: [+1 STR] Don’t choose this option for the strength boost. If you’re going to go with a fallen aasimar, do it for the limitless character complexities you can play with.
  • Bugbear: [+2 STR, +1 DEX] Mechanics wise, not worth the effort. Gameplay wise, it’d be interesting to see how you’d manage to explain a bugbear sorcerer.
  • Dragonborn: [+2 STR, +1 CHA] There’s not much of a point in making a dragonborn sorcerer when there’s the Draconic Bloodline origin that you can choose, and get the perks of a different race at the same time.
  • Dwarf: [+2 CON] The con boost is a solid reason to choose a dwarf, but there are better options that come with con boosts.
    • Mountain Dwarf: [+2 STR] Everything a mountain dwarf has to offer is kind of a waste on you.
    • Hill Dwarf: [+1 WIS] Again, not really worth it mechanics wise.
    • Duergar: [+1 STR] None of the dwarfs are an efficient combination for a sorcerer.
  • Elf: [+2 DEX] Solid pick, but there are better options out there for you.
    • Wood Elf: [+1 WIS] Mask of the wild could come in handy if you’re trying to cast without being seen, but there are easier ways to achieve this.
    • Drow: [+1 CHA] Other than the charisma boost (which you could easily get elsewhere), there’s not much here for you.
    • High Elf: [+1 INT] An extra cantrip is always nice, but you don’t need to be a high elf to get one.
    • Eladrin: [+1 CHA] You could have a lot of fun with an eladrin sorcerer, it’s up to you to get creative!
    • Sea Elf: [+1 CON] Unless you know your campaign takes place on the coast or there’s a heavy water element, it’s better to pick something else.
    • Shadar-Kai: [+1 CON] Better to go with eladrin unless you desperately need the con modifier for whatever reason.
  • Firbolg: [+2 WIS, +1 STR] Firbolg have some cool abilities. Unfortunately, the stat modifiers are lost on you and you can find similar race features elsewhere.
  • Genasi: [+2 CON] Can’t go wrong with a con modifier. It all depends on the type of genasi you want to play.
    • Air Genasi: [+1 DEX] The dex mod helps, but you can find similar abilities and more elsewhere.
    • Earth Genasi: [+1 STR] Strength is wasted on you, but the Pass Without Trace spell would be really useful to you if needed.
    • Fire Genasi: [+1 INT] Okay choice, but you’d be better off choosing a tiefling.
    • Water Genasi: [+ 1 WIS] You don’t need to be a water genasi to get most of these abilities.
  • Gith: [+1 INT] Look elsewhere. There’s nothing for you here mechanics wise.
    • Githyanki: [+1 STR] As a sorcerer, you don’t want to be engaging in melee combat unless you have a death wish.
    • Githzerai: [+1 WIS] If it works for your story, great. If not, you have way better options.
  • Gnome: [+2 INT] The advantages on saves against some magic help, but there are more active ways to keep your character safe and on their feet.
    • Forest Gnome: [+1 DEX] Not recommended unless it really works with your story.
    • Rock Gnome: [+1 CON] There are a lot of fun things that come with being a rock gnome, but you might want to save them for a different character.
    • Deep Gnome: [+1 DEX] Not much else here for you. Look elsewhere for a dex boost.
  • Goblin: [+2 DEX, +1 CON] Good stat modifiers, and some nice perks for you.
  • Goliath: [+2 STR, +1 CON] If you’re looking at a sorcerer optimization guide, you’re probably not looking to make a tank. Next.
  • Half-Elf: [+2 CHA, +1 ???, +1 ???] Half-elves are a reliably good race pick across the board. Especially for you, since that charisma mod helps and you have many ways to customize them.
  • Half-Orc: [+2 STR, +1 CON] Strong choice, but not for sorcerers.
  • Halfling: [+2 DEX] Can’t complain about anything the halfling has to offer. They’re adaptable to almost any class.
    • Stout Halfling: [+1 CON] Nothing to complain about here either, but nothing too special.
    • Lightfoot Halfling: [+1 CHA] If you’re going to choose a halfling, stats wise, you want a lightfoot.
    • Ghostwise Halfling: [+1 WIS] Solid choice, surely the silent speech will come in handy. There are still better options out there, though.
  • Human: [+1 ALL] By all means, be a human in a fantasy RPG. There are a lot more fun and effective ways to get creative out there.
  • Kenku: [+2 DEX, +1 WIS] Another fun race, but playing a kenku sorcerer wouldn’t make you as strong as you could be.
  • Kobold: [+2 DEX, -2 STR] If you’re looking to be an effortlessly cool sorcerer, this is not the race to pick. You also don’t need to lose any more strength, you were going to lose whatever fistfight you got into from the getgo.
  • Lizardfolk: [+2 CON, +1 WIS] Overall, a lizardfolk sorcerer is a pretty powerful choice. However, there is a large possibility that many of their race abilities may not be helpful in an everyday combat scenario.
  • Orc: [+2 STR, +1 CON, -2 INT] An orc sorcerer is just not worth your time in terms of optimization.
  • Tabaxi: [+2 DEX, +1 CHA] Solid choice, many of the tabaxi features will come in handy.
  • Tiefling: [+2 CHA] After half-elf, the tiefling is the best choice for a sorcerer in the PHB.
    • Asmodeus: [+1 INT] Still a solid choice, but not the best bloodline for a sorcerer.
    • Baalzebul: [+1 INT] Same deal as Bloodline of Asmodeus.
    • Dispater: [+1 DEX] Many of the bonus spells from each bloodline won’t matter much, but the boost to dex makes Dispater a step above the previous ones.
    • Fierna: [+1 WIS] A boost to wis is slightly better than a boost to int, but not by much.
    • Glasya: [+1 DEX] Tieflings are known for being chaotic, and you can easily lean into that with this bloodline.
    • Levistus: [+1 CON] Choosing the Levistus bloodline or not basically comes down to whether you want a few cold spells.
    • Mammon: [+1 INT] Again, down to personal preference. There are better bloodlines to choose, but if this one goes with your backstory, go for it.
    • Mephistopheles: [+1 INT] This is an interesting case storywise, because this bloodline focuses on arcana. Still probably better choices of bloodlines.
    • Zariel: [+1 STR] Zariel’s bloodline is the least suited to sorcery.
  • Tortle: [+2 STR, +1 WIS] The strength mod isn’t going to help you, but the natural AC without having to worry about armor is nice. Still, better options exist.
  • Triton: [+1 STR, +1 CON, +1 CHA] Again, if your game takes place near a body of water, being a triton could be helpful. If not, choose other optimizations.
  • Yuan-Ti Pureblood: [+2 CHA, +1 INT] Yuan-Ti Purebloods have some nice perks, making them a solid choice.

Eberron Races:

  • Changeling: [+2 CHA, +1 ???] The stat boosts are solid, and changelings come with some fun features.
  • Shifters: [+1 DEX] If you’re looking to be able to change your appearance, changeling is definitely a better option.
    • Beasthide Shifter: [+2 CON] The con boost and temporary hp can come in handy, but there are better ways to optimize.
    • Longtooth Shifter: [+2 STR] You won’t be needing any of these subrace features.
    • Swiftstride Shifter: [+1 DEX, +1 CHA] If you’re going to go with a shifter, go with a swiftstride. The stat boosts will help you the most, plus additional movement is always helpful to a sorcerer.
    • Wildhunt Shifter: [+2 WIS] This could come in very handy in extremely specific situations. Most likely ones that you won’t be in, or know you’re going to be in until it’s too late.
  • Warforged: [+2 CON, +1 ???] Warforged is a great choice for a sorcerer. Plus, the backstory options are endless.
    • Envoy: [+1 ???, +1 ???] There is so much creative freedom here, take advantage of it.
    • Juggernaut: [+2 STR] Least helpful of the warforged options, but still a solid choice.
    • Skirmisher: [+2 DEX] Skirmisher is a great option, it’s just hard to compete with the envoy.

Keep in mind that these suggestions are more helpful in early game, as racial bonuses won’t matter as much when you level up.

Sorcerous Origins: Sorcerer Subclasses

Clockwork Soul Sorcerer

Clockwork Soul (UA):

Control time and space with the features present in the Clockwork Soul origin. You can protect yourself and others, take away advantages and disadvantages, and fix what has been broken or tampered with.

    • Clockwork Magic: A bunch of extra spells you can get automatically with every other level, some from the sorcerer spell list and some from elsewhere.
    • Restore Balance (1st Level): Allows you to take away advantage or disadvantage on rolls by another creature.
    • Bulwark of Law (6th Level): Additional protections, with a chaotic twist. If you’ve got sorcery points to spare, this’ll help keep your or an ally’s hp up.
    • Trance of Order (14th Level): Hypnotize yourself into basically becoming a tank. Take away an enemy’s advantages, and make it impossible for yourself to get lower than a 10 on a d20 roll.
    • Clockwork Cavalcade (14th Level): Within a 30 foot cube, undo some spell effects, restore up to 100 hp, and fix any broken item.

Divine Soul:

Your soul is blessed. You may challenge organized religious groups or be adored by them. Either way, divine magic is on your side.

    • Divine Magic: An extra spell is never a bad thing. You can also dip into the cleric spell list, which provides you with a bit of extra option.
    • Favored by the Gods (1st Level): Adding 2d4 onto a low roll could come in very handy every once per long or short rest.
    • Empowered Healing (6th Level): Unless you or an ally rolls absolutely terribly on a healing spell, you probably won’t want to spend a sorcery point to use this.
    • Angelic Form (14th Level): Grow wings! You can now fly and/or give yourself a bat/eagle/dragonfly aesthetic.
    • Unearthly Recovery (18th Level): Recover half of your max hp as a bonus action.

Draconic Bloodline:

Your magic comes from a draconic ancestor long ago in your family line. You still bear draconic resemblance, as well as an affinity for one type of elemental damage. You have some of the perks of being a dragonborn without actually being a dragonborn.

    • Dragon Ancestor (1st Level): Basically the only feature that affects you from Draconic Ancestor until level six is that you know Draconic. You also get to pick the color of your ancestor’s scales, which comes into play later.
    • Draconic Resilience (1st Level): Draconic resilience gives you a higher AC and a higher max HP, which is extremely useful for you at the first level.
    • Elemental Affinity (6th Level): This is where your dragon ancestor comes in to help you. You get extra modifiers to attacks with your chosen type of damage, and you can spend sorcery points to get resistance to it.
    • Dragon Wings (14th Level): Another of many ways you can gain the power of flight as a sorcerer. Just make sure you don’t care about the shirt you’re wearing.
    • Draconic Presence (18th Level): Use five sorcery points to trigger either an aura of awe or fear. Neither is worth five sorcery points.

Psionic Soul (UA):

Some way or another, you come to have psionic power. Now that you do, a light shines within you that is the source of your power. You have more control over the wellbeing of yourself and those around you.

    • Psionic Origin: Basically serves as your backstory. Fun storytelling element, but doesn’t really do anything for you.
    • Psionic Talent (1st Level): Tons of different mildly useful features. They are based off of your psionic talent die, which automatically starts off as a d6 and grows as you level up or grows as you crit fail or shrinks as you crit succeed. (Add more later)
    • Psi Replenishment (1st Level): Plays off your psionic talent. This feature can change the size of your psionic talent die.
    • Psychic Strike (6th Level): Deal extra damage with spell attacks once per turn. Pretty basic, but it can hurt.
    • Mind Over Body (14th Level): Your physical form can no longer hinder you. You can fly (again, it’s not that hard to find a way to fly), see any invisible creature, swim and breathe under water, or bend your body into shapes that would normally kill you. 
    • Psychic Aura (18th Level): Within a 30 foot radius, you can deal damage to any creature on their turn and half their movement speed.

Shadow Magic:

You have a dark and edgy type of magic within you. You are naturally able to defy death, blend in with shadows, and dip into a darker form of being.

    • Shadow Sorcerer Quirks: More random traits your character has, none are useful mechanically.
    • Eyes of the Dark (1st Level): This basically starts off as really good darkvision. At the 3rd level, you gain the darkness spell and can cast it with sorcery points as you choose.
    • Strength of the Grave (1st Level): Your saving grace in battle, if you happen to drop below zero HP.
    • Hound of Ill Omen (6th Level): Get an omnispective, hellish canine companion for up to five minutes. It may not be the strongest or more efficient feature, but it makes you look badass.
    • Shadow Walk (14th Level): Be edgy and sneaky by using this ability to walk exclusively in shadows.
    • Umbral Form (18th Level): A little underwhelming powerwise for what it costs, but again, probably looks epic. Transform into a shadowy figure that is resistant to most damage for five sorcery points.

Storm Sourcery:

Your power comes from the weather patterns of the world around you. You can eventually build up to controlling the weather, and become a powerful wielder of thunder and lighting.

    • Wind Speaker: You know Primordial and can understand, and be understood by speakers of, a few other languages.
    • Tempestuous Magic (1st Level): Randomly start flying! You can’t fly that far, but it’s still cool and might come in handy.
    • Heart of the Storm (6th Level): Combined with taking spells that deal lightning and/or thunder damage, this feature is a pretty good deal. Plus you get resistance on the aforementioned types of damage.
    • Storm Guide (6th Level): This doesn’t do a lot, but take advantage and control the weather just because you can.
    • Storm’s Fury (14th Level): If something hits you, hit it back with lightning.
    • Wind Soul (18th Level): Complete immunity to lighting and thunder damage, plus the ability to fly yourself and with others.

Wild Magic:

Your magic stems from chaos itself. At earlier levels, it will be unpredictable. However, once you get a grasp on it, you can harness it and inflict chaos on the world around you.

    • Wild Magic Surge (1st Level): Crit fails can now either be really helpful or more detrimental than before. If you roll a nat one casting a first level spell, one of fifty things will happen. See for yourself if you choose the wild magic origin.
    • Tides of Chaos (1st Level): If your DM is more chaotic leaning, they’ll exploit this feature for their own amusement. If you use tides of chaos, they can make you roll on the wild magic surge table after you cast a spell, if they so choose.
    • Bend Luck (6th Level): You can give an extra 1d4 advantage or disadvantage on almost any roll for two sorcery points. Doesn’t really seem worth it, but if you’re really desperate…
    • Controlled Chaos (14th Level): Make your wild magic surge rolls slightly less chaotic by giving yourself a choice of two effects (that you rolled for).
    • Spell Bombardment (18th Level): Extra damage. That’s kind of it. A little underwhelming, considering it’s not even that much extra damage.

Spells

As a sorcerer, you have many spells to choose from. Many, many spells. Some of the most powerful ones are highlighted below, as well as some that may not benefit your game as much. However, the usefulness of these spells and their strength depends on a lot of factors that cannot be accounted for in a simple guide, no matter how in depth you get.

The power of the spells you choose will depend on what race or subclass you combine with it, as well as proficiency and strengths and weaknesses of your enemy. They can also depend on the availability of items needed to cast them in the world you’re playing in, as well as the play-style of your DM. Even the strength and weaknesses of your fellow party members, and which spells they have taken (and what type of casters some of them are).

There is no shortage of things to consider when choosing spells, we just suggest some of the most powerful ones. Since you have a relatively low hp, it would be smart for you to choose some strong attack spells, as well as a couple defensive ones. If you’re the face of the party, deception and charisma based spells would also be helpful. I could go on, but you should probably just get into looking at the spells yourself.

Cantrips

  • Acid Splash: Decent attack, comes in handy.
  • Blade Ward: Helpful early game, as one of your main goals should be staying alive during combat.
  • Booming Blade: Requires a melee attack, which you won’t be making for a while if you value your life.
  • Chill Touch: Solid cantrip that you don’t see amongst many races. Deals a lot of damage with a d8.
  • Control Flames: This is more of an entertainment cantrip. Feel free to take it, it just might not do you much good on the battlefield.
  • Create Bonfire: Solid attack, has some flair to it. Create bonfire is just available to plenty of classes, so it may not be so unique.
  • Dancing Lights: Dancing lights could be helpful if you or a party member doesn’t have darkvision. However, the light it creates is much less effective than simply carrying a torch.
  • Fire Bolt: Decent attack, deals 1d10 damage if it hits. Good starter cantrip.
  • Friends: You have high enough charisma so that you don’t need the advantage this cantrip provides. Plus, more people are going to want to be your friend with better attacks.
  • Frostbite: Decent choice, comes in handy if something is directly attacking you. Chill touch is still better.
  • Green Flame Blade: You attack with enough style using ranged spells, you don’t need this cantrip to look cool.
  • Gust: If your sorcerer values their personal space, great. If not, other cantrips are much better attacks.
  • Infestation: If you’re chaotic, this one’s for you. However, there are better spells and cantrips that you can control a lot easier.
  • Light: Odds are, you won’t find yourself needing this while you happen to have access to phosphorescent moss or a firefly.
  • Lightning Lure: Deals decent damage, but you probably don’t want anything that you’re attacking to be all that close to you.
  • Mage Hand: This comes in handy, considering it isn’t wise for you to run into battle for something you could do from afar.
  • Mending: Mending always comes in handy, but it is available to most casting classes so you probably don’t need to be the one that takes it.
  • Message: Helpful cantrip, but probably not at the top of your priority list.
  • Mind Sliver (UA): Fun, but you can easily choose a better attack.
  • Minor Illusion: Another fun one if your alignment leans toward chaotic.
  • Mold Earth: This probably won’t help you as much as some of these other ones will.
  • Poison Spray: This hits hard, but consider if it is worth the risk of angering whatever you’re attacking.
  • Prestidigitation: Prestidigitation has a special place in the hearts of all somewhat experienced D&D players. You can decide the fun of this cantrip is worth it to you.
  • Ray of Frost: Solid attack, plus attackers have trouble pursuing you.
  • Shape Water: This has its niche, but it’s likely that it’s not applicable to you.
  • Shocking Grasp: Another good choice for an attack, it just comes down to personal preference.
  • Sword Burst: This attack is full of style. If you’re being attacked at close range by several things, it comes in handy.
  • Thunderclap: Thunderclap is fun in theory, it’s just really weak in practice.
  • True Strike: This is a strategic attack that comes in handy if you’re the type of player that likes to plan ahead and look at mechanics.

1st Level Spells

  • Acid Stream (UA): This is a valuable one, since it’s only available to sorcerers and wizards.
  • Burning Hands: Burning hands is like acid stream except it hits harder. Go with this one.
  • Catapult: This hits hard, and there’s a lot of room for creative storytelling.
  • Charm Person: There are more effective ways of fighting, but sure.
  • Chaos Bolt: This one is a fun one that is only for sorcerers. It hits just about as hard as other level one spells, but there’s an element of surprise to it.
  • Chromatic Orb: If you happen to be carrying a rather valuable diamond with you, props. Otherwise, pick something else.
  • Color Spray: This is pretty OP for a first level spell, plus it looks super cool.
  • Comprehend Languages: You are most likely not going to need to be the polyglot of the party.
  • Detect Magic: Helpful, but it’s likely that someone else in your party can take this one, as it is available to almost every casting class.
  • Disguise Self: If you’d rather hide than fight or run, this might be the spell for you.
  • Earth Tremor: In the grand scheme of first level spells, this is probably not what you’re looking for.
  • Expeditious Retreat: This spell is perfect for you, as running will likely save your life on multiple occasions.
  • False Life: This spell can be your saving grace, and you’re pretty likely to have access to alcohol.
  • Feather Fall: If you and your party are falling for some reason, this would be extremely helpful. Hey, it happens!
  • Fog Cloud: There are a lot better things on this list. Don’t bother.
  • Ice Knife: Powerful? Check. Covers a lot of ground? Check.
  • ID Insinuation (UA): This is fun, plus it can hit fairly hard if you roll well.
  • Jump: If you happen to come across a grasshopper’s hind leg and one of your friends wants to know what it’s like to fly without the commitment, then I guess take this spell.
  • Mage Armor: Fine, but there are better (and more fun) options.
  • Magic Missile: This spell is a must have for low level sorcerers. It hits automatically and can get you out of trouble in a pinch.
  • Ray of Sickness: Powerful, effective. It all comes down to your style.
  • Shield: Very useful for sorcerers. You’re very squishy and this could save your life.
  • Silent Image: If illusions and hallucinations are your niche, go for it.
  • Sleep: A rather boring course of action, but it works.
  • Sudden Awakening: This isn’t worth taking up a spell slot.
  • Thunderwave: Good attack if the fight is getting too close to you.
  • Witch Bolt: A fine choice, it just might be a little hard to cast considering you need a twig from a tree that has been struck by lightning.

2nd Level Spells

  • Aganazzar’s Scorcher: Solid choice for an attack spell.
  • Alter Self: Diverse array of uses, get creative!
  • Blindness/Deafness: Fine spell, but probably less useful than other spells you could take.
  • Blur: Extremely helpful during combat, only problem is it doesn’t last long enough.
  • Cloud of Daggers: Fun, but not the most effective attack.
  • Crown of Madness: Creative, but not the most effective. This could have really cool impacts story wise though.
  • Darkness: Will probably cause a momentary distraction. Probably won’t do anything helpful unless someone rolls really low.
  • Darkvision: Most creatures in D&D already have darkvision, and if they don’t, there are better ways to get it.
  • Detect Thoughts: This could come in handy depending on how you use it. If you don’t take this spell, you could always just roll insight.
  • Dragon’s Breath: Points for creativity here, but you’ve got better options.
  • Dust Devil: Great if you need to move the fight away from you, but once you have access to second level spells, it probably won’t be as important.
  • Earthbind: In the event that something is flying, this could be helpful. However, other spells are more situationally adaptable.
  • Enhance Ability: Great spell in that it can do plenty of different things for you.
  • Enlarge/Reduce: This would come in handy more for your own amusement rather than actually helping you out in battle.
  • Gust of Wind: Fun, amusing, doesn’t do much damage. Comes in handy when you least expect it.
  • Hold Person: Extremely powerful and helpful. Everyone is taking this one though, so you may not need it.
  • Invisibility: Good for pre-battle spying.
  • Knock: You can get whatever you’d use this for done with a set of thieves’ tools.
  • Levitate: Eh, fun but unnecessary in most scenarios.
  • Maximillian’s Earthen Grasp: Fine, but I doubt you’re carrying a mini hand sculpted from clay. Even if you are, you’re likely to use something else instead.
  • Mental Barrier (UA): This is a solid reaction, so if you know you’re fighting something that does psychic damage, you should take it.
  • Mind Thrust (UA): The creature you’re targeting with this spell is gonna have a rough time.
  • Mirror Image: A fun, chaotic way to deal with your problems.
  • Misty Step: There probably isn’t a situation where teleportation wouldn’t come in handy.
  • Phantasmal Force: Fun way to mess with the creatures you’re fighting.
  • Pyrotechnics: Another fun way to mess with people, but much less effective.
  • Scorching Ray: Good old fashioned setting things on fire.
  • See Invisibility: Better to take later in the game, especially if you know you’re dealing with creatures from the ethereal plane.
  • Shatter: Destroy your enemies and their things.
  • Snilloc’s Snowball Storm: Pelt evil things with snowballs, classic.
  • Spider Climb: This will come in handy when you least expect it. Plus, there are a lot of creative uses for it.
  • Suggestion: Good spell, but you probably won’t have the items necessary to cast it when you first take it/want to use it.
  • Thought Shield (UA): This would be helpful against something that can read minds, but there are a lot fewer of those than you would expect.
  • Warding Wind: Fine spell, but there are a few aforementioned spells that do very similar things.
  • Web: Great way to give you and your party a leg up in any fight.

3rd Level Spells

  • Blink: Disappearing to another plane of existence probably isn’t the best battle strategy.
  • Clairvoyance: Good choice if you want to keep tabs on a certain place or item.
  • Counterspell: This can be a game changer during battle. A must have if you’re fighting any casters.
  • Conjure Lesser Demons: This could be very helpful, but it could also be a pain if the lesser demons start attacking you or your allies.
  • Daylight: Unless you or a party member is really blind, this spell isn’t worth taking.
  • Dispel Magic: This could be helpful, but there are more effective (and more fun) ways to counter magic).
  • Enemies Abound: Not worth taking unless you’re up against something really dumb and strong.
  • Erupting Earth: This has a lot of style and deals a lot of damage.
  • Fear: Fun, but making things frightened will probably never be worth your time.
  • Fireball: Setting things on fire is always fun.
  • Flame Arrows: This might be helpful if you have someone that is proficient with ranged weapons in the party, but you should probably focus your attention elsewhere.
  • Fly: Who doesn’t want to fly? Admittedly this spell is a little basic and may not be directly helpful in combat, but hey, it’s cool.
  • Gaseous Form: This is a unique spell that could come in handy in several ways.
  • Haste: By the time you’re able to take this spell, it’s probably not worth it.
  • Hypnotic Pattern: You probably don’t have the things to cast this spell, and even if you do, it’s not worth it.
  • Lightning Bolt: Powerful, and also able to catch things on fire.
  • Major Image: This spell could really mess with some creatures, but in reality it can’t do much physically.
  • Melf’s Minute Meteors: You probably don’t have what you need to cast this, and even if you do, don’t bother.
  • Protection from Energy: This could be helpful when fighting a specific enemy, but it’s not likely.
  • Psionic Blast (UA): Powerful, and can deal damage to multiple creatures at once.
  • Sleet Storm: Not worth taking, it would be easier to knock someone prone than use a spell slot casting this.
  • Slow: Powerful, can turn the tides of a fight.
  • Stinking Cloud: A fun way to mess with people, but you have better options for actually dealing damage.
  • Summon Fey Spirit (UA): Helpful, but you probably won’t be carrying such expensive items that would allow you to cast this.
  • Summon Shadow Spirit (UA): Same deal as the fey spirit, but slightly more powerful.
  • Tongues: Could really help you or a party member in a pinch, but not as immediately helpful as other spells.
  • Wall of Water: Depends on the kinds of enemies you’re fighting, but this could come in handy.
  • Water Breathing: Another useful spell for your coastal based campaign. Won’t help you if you’re not in a body of water, though.
  • Water Walk: Water walk is way more badass than the name implies. Shock your enemies by walking directly over a stream of lava or acid.

4th Level Spells

  • Banishment: Regardless of whether the banishment is permanent, not many creatures would appreciate suddenly being transported to another plane of existence.
  • Blight: Powerful, automatically kills things (sometimes). What more could you want?
  • Confusion: Bring some chaos to the battlefield with this spell.
  • Conjure Barlgura: Solve your problems by conjuring a demon! Make sure it can’t hurt you or your allies, though.
  • Conjure Shadow Demon: Unleash a demon on the world around you, all for the low cost of a human(oid) life.
  • Dimension Door: There are other teleportation spells that are better.
  • Dominate Beast: Solid choice, but there are other options to control creatures. Make sure to choose the one that is best for your story.
  • Ego Whip (UA): Make something too depressed to fight well! It’s a little cruel, but if it works…
  • Greater Invisibility: If invisibility is a large part of your game, then fine. If not, regular invisibility will do.
  • Ice Storm: Powerful, hits a lot of things if they’re in range.
  • Polymorph: Words cannot encompass the chaos you can achieve with this spell. Do with it as you will.
  • Stoneskin: If you’re really in a pinch and have 100gp worth of diamond dust to spare, I guess go for this.
  • Storm Sphere: Not the strongest, but storm sphere certainly has pizazz.
  • Summon Aberrant Spirit (UA): Summoning spirits from other planes is a power move, but it is expensive.
  • Summon Elemental Spirit (UA): Slightly more attainable than an aberrant spirit, but still very expensive.
  • Vitriolic Sphere: Harder to attain than storm sphere, but more powerful. Equally as much pizazz.
  • Wall of Fire: Hurts more than a wall of water, but you don’t need both. Consider if it’s worth it to you to take.
  • Watery Sphere: What’s with the fourth level and spheres? Smaller, more controllable, easily attainable. You can decide which sphere is best for you.

5th Level Spells

  • Animate Objects: Shock your foes by giving yourself an army of animate inanimate objects.
  • Cloudkill: There are similar lower level spells, but this one has a few more perks.
  • Cone of Cold: Kill things with style, if the damage you deal is enough.
  • Conjure Vrock: If you have a flair for the chaotic and money to spend, this spell is for you. Beware, as cool as this spell may be, there’s still a chance you might have a hostile demon on your hands.
  • Control Winds: Pretty self explanatory. Causes some inconveniences for the creatures you’re fighting.
  • Creation: Great for con artists, not so great for anything else.
  • Dominate Person: This could be extremely helpful if it lasted longer. Otherwise, it’s just mildly helpful.
  • Hold Monster: You’ll be glad you had this spell in a particularly nasty fight.
  • Immolation: Another fun spell where you get to set things on fire, but stronger this time.
  • Insect Plague: Plague your enemies, literally.
  • Intellect Fortress (UA): A fine spell, but kind of weak in comparison to everything else at the fifth level.
  • Seeming: This is basically disguise self, but you can use it on others. If it’s worth it to you, have fun messing with people.
  • Telekinesis: When would telekinesis not come in handy?
  • Teleportation Circle: This is helpful if you have time to spare. Not wanting to waste so much time traveling is understandable.
  • Wall of Stone: Very self explanatory. Probably one of the least cool wall spells, but it gets the job done.

6th Level Spells

  • Arcane Gate: Solid if you need a portal, but will you?
  • Chain Lightning: Powerful attack that can hit multiple creatures.
  • Circle of Death: Extremely intimidating, but expensive and not so effective for this level.
  • Disintegrate: Epic and strong, just make sure you’re carrying a lodestone.
  • Eyebite: Comparatively not so epic and not worth taking.
  • Globe of Invulnerability: A great way to protect your party from spellcasters.
  • Investiture of Flame: Looks epic, is okay.
  • Investiture of Ice: Probably less epic than the previous, just as okay.
  • Investiture of Stone: Not an attack, feels a little pointless.
  • Investiture of Wind: Probably the strongest investiture, pick this one if you’re choosing between them.
  • Mass Suggestion: Fun, and you can get creative with this.
  • Move Earth: Great spell to have if your character is an apprentice landscaper.
  • Otherworldly Form (UA): Pretty epic, but very costly to cast.
  • Psychic Crush (UA): Fine, but there are better and more exciting psychic spells to take.
  • Sunbeam: If you’re going for a very particular aesthetic, this might be a good one to take. Otherwise, it’s pretty weak.
  • True Seeing: Could be helpful late into the game.

7th Level Spells

  • Delayed Blast Fireball: Fun magical explosives that do a fair amount of damage.
  • Etherealness: If the Ethereal realm is a large part of your campaign, then maybe this spell would change the game.
  • Finger of Death: Attack and possibly gain allies.
  • Fire Storm: Powerful, and pretty cool looking.
  • Plane Shift: Expensive, and you probably don’t really need this, but it is kind of cool.
  • Prismatic Spray: Chaotic attack that probably looks epic.
  • Reverse Gravity: Probably not necessary, but fun.
  • Teleport: Who doesn’t need to teleport?

8th Level Spells

  • Abi-Dalzim’s Horrid Wilting: Pretty epic. Creates a fun visual for your story.
  • Dominate Monster: What if that monster that was attacking you wasn’t attacking you, and happened to be doing all of your bidding for you?
  • Earthquake: Very destructive, as is most of D&D.
  • Incendiary Cloud: Also pretty destructive, and pretty epic.
  • Power Word: Stun: Just not worth it compared to all of the other eighth level spells.
  • Sunburst: Just meh compared to the rest of these spells.

9th Level Spells

  • Gate: So, so expensive, but makes narrative sense for the end of a campaign and is quite useful.
  • Meteor Swarm: Extremely destructive and hurts bad!
  • Power Word: Kill: Just automatically kill things.
  • Time Stop: Do literally anything you want for 2+ turns in your current locations.
  • Wish: Bring literally anything into existence. Literally.

Font of Magic

You begin to access your font of magic at the second level. Because you have inherited magic from your ancestors, this is an innate ability that you develop as you level. This manifests in sorcery points. The more you level, the more you will be able to use sorcery points and the more sorcery points you’ll get. You start off with two sorcery points at the second level. They are replenished automatically every time you take a long rest.

One of the main uses for sorcery points is that you can expend sorcery points for spell slots during your bonus action, and vice versa (up to a 5th level spell slot). You can also use sorcery points for a variety of other things, as you have seen and will continue to see throughout this guide.

Metamagic

Metamagic is another feature unique to sorcerers. Starting at the third level, you gain two of the metamagic effects to your spells below, and you gain one more at levels ten and seventeen. You can use one at a time for the most part, and you spend your sorcery points to use them. Each has a different price.

  • Careful Spell: Sorcerer spells are powerful and highly destructive, and a number of them affect a range or radius rather than one specific creature. That being said, it can be difficult to keep your allies safe, so this metamagic option comes in handy.
  • Distant Spell: Expand the range of your spell by two, or give a touch-ranged spell the ability to affect creatures up to 30 feet. This is well worth the sorcery point, seeing as it gets the same job done in a fraction of the time using only one spell slot.
  • Empowered Spell: Inflict more damage. This option will likely come in handy at higher levels when your spells have the potential to deal a ton of damage.
  • Extended Spell: In theory, this is a great option. However, there are not a lot of spells that would benefit from the extended spell option, especially if you’re at a higher level.
  • Heightened Spell: This option is simply too expensive for what it is. Basically, you just choose a target to give disadvantage, for a cost of three sorcery points.
  • Quickened Spell: Cut the amount of time it takes to cast a spell in half. A bit on the pricey side, but helps in a pinch.
  • Subtle Spell: Most D&D campaigns are not known for the meticulous planning put in on the part of the players, so subtly probably doesn’t matter so much to you. If you’re in the minority where it does, this option takes away all verbal and somatic components of a spellcasting.
  • Twin Spell: If you have sorcery points to spare, this one is great. You can essentially double-cast a spell and have it target two different creatures.

Skills

You get to pick two class skills to get proficiencies in to start off, as well as some others you might pick up from backgrounds and racial features.

You will be able to gain more proficiency as you go along, but you’ll definitely want to start off with some charisma based skills. Charisma is your highest stat, and because of that you may be the face of the party. You might also want to coordinate with your DM and your party to see which skill proficiencies of yours could benefit the group most.

Class skills:

  • Arcana (INT): Being the sorcerer, you may be the party’s go to guy for arcana checks. You also might not be. Depends on the way your game is set up.
  • Deception (CHA): Since charisma is your casting stat, there will likely be situations where you’re the face of the party. Whether or not you want to put your stock into deception is up to you.
  • Insight (WIS): Insight is always important to have. Maybe not especially for sorcerers, but it can help most any character across the board.
  • Intimidation (CHA): Similarly to deception, you could be a very intimidating sorcerer. That is for you to decide when building your character.
  • Persuasion (CHA): The most important charisma skill you’re going to have is persuasion. As a character with a high charisma stat, this is one you should strongly consider taking.
  • Religion (INT): The importance of proficiency in religion really depends on your DM and the world they have built for you to play in. It could also come in handy if you plan to multiclass as a paladin or a cleric, but otherwise you should put more into other skills.

Non-class skills:

  • Acrobatics (DEX): You have enough style without being skilled in acrobatics, you can’t have it all. Unless you really want it.
  • Animal Handling (WIS): Leave animal handling to the druids.
  • Athletics (STR): Nothing based in strength is going to be your forte. The sooner you accept it, the better.
  • History (INT): History is interesting because it has the potential to go hand-in-hand with arcana, it all depends on the campaign you’re in.
  • Investigation (INT): Investigation is useful, but not particularly for sorcerers. It’s good to keep in mind as an afterthought, but it isn’t your top priority.
  • Medicine (WIS): Proficiency in medicine would be useful, but there are other skills available that could take you a lot further.
  • Nature (INT): Leave this one to someone else.
  • Perception (WIS): Perception is always helpful to have. As a sorcerer, you’ll need to be hypervigilant in the beginning of your campaign in order to stay alive, and to generally fight to the best of your abilities.
  • Performance (CHA): Sorcerers aren’t known for their performance skills, but it could make for a good character quirk seeing as it’s based in charisma.
  • Sleight of Hand (DEX): Leave this one to the rogues.
  • Stealth (DEX): Stealth will get you far, especially since most of your fighting is done at range.
  • Survival (WIS): If you choose the sorcerer class, you already know surviving is going to be a struggle.

Backgrounds:

Backgrounds are a good way to pick up extra skill proficiencies, plus a little something extra. They also add flavor to your character and depth to their personalities, so maxing skills may not even be your top priority here.

Some of these backgrounds obviously suit themselves to sorcerers better than others, but keep in mind that if you’re already proficient in a skill associated with a certain background, you get to replace it with whatever you want.

  • Acolyte: An interesting choice for a sorcerer. Skillswise not the greatest, but it could make for a unique backstory. Being a member of a church or temple has its perks in D&D.
  • Charlatan: If you generally want to be an instigator of chaos, this is a good one to choose. It could go hand-in-hand with a few of the different sorcerous origins (wild magic, storm sorcery, shadow sorcery). However, the features that come along with it probably aren’t the best for you.
  • Criminal: Being a criminal comes with solid skill proficiencies for sorcery. Plus, your criminal contact is bound to come in handy at some point.
  • Entertainer: Skill proficiencies are pretty useless to you. Plus, are you really going to be wanting that kind of attention as a powerful magic wielder? Better to keep your adoring fans out of danger by not having any.
  • Folk Hero: The skill proficiencies that come with being a folk hero probably won’t help you, but the rustic hospitality feature that makes random villagers compelled to hide you from the law might.
  • Guild Artisan: Being a guild artisan provides the skill proficiencies that you want in a background for a sorcerer, however there is more that you’ll want to consider. If you want to sell your soul to bureaucracy, this is the background for you. It comes at a low price of five gp per month.
  • Hermit: You hear of hermit sorcerers pretty often in fantasy stories, but not much in D&D. Probably because the skill proficiencies that come with being a hermit kind of suck for a sorcerer. Still, you could make it work and build a really interesting character.
  • Noble: You can never go wrong with having a few extra gold pieces in your pouch. The skill proficiencies will suit you well and you have plenty of social connections.
  • Outlander: There’s really nothing in this background that is of use to you. Try hermit if you want an outlander sort of feel that’s more fitting to you.
  • Sage: Not the best, but not the worst. You can use the sage background as a basis to create a really interesting story for your character, though.
  • Sailor: Nothing sticks out as something that would be especially beneficial to a sorcerer, save for the perception boost.
  • Soldier: Not much for you here, save for backstory potential.
  • Urchin: A decent choice, if you want to go for an edgier sorcerer. The stealth boost is bound to help, plus it never hurts to know your way around a specific city.

Feats

You’re probably best off taking a +2 Cha over a feat if you already have an even number in that stat.

If the modifier you’re looking to boost is an odd number, then a feat that provides +1 can help bump it up to even and give a perk.

  • Actor: More charisma is super helpful for your modifier, plus a couple other extras!
  • Alert: Keeps you safe and your hp high. Plus you get a higher chance of being able to spell attack something before it attacks you.
  • Athlete: Your character won’t really be an athlete, but you can act like you are with this feat.
  • Charger: You don’t need this because you’re not focusing your energy on melee attacks.
  • Crossbow Expert: Crossbows are likely a last resort for you, so maybe don’t pick this one.
  • Defensive Duelist: Let’s face it, you’re not wielding a finesse weapon.
  • Dual Wielder: You’re not mastering fighting with one weapon, let alone two.
  • Dungeon Delver: You lack the awareness to make full use of this feat.
  • Durable: Great for someone with relatively low hp, such as yourself. Plus, everyone can use a con bonus.
  • Elemental Adept: A good choice for casters, especially casters that are fighting more magical folk.
  • Grappler: You unfortunately may not even have the strength required to take this feat. Even if you do, you won’t grapple things unless you have a death wish.
  • Great Weapon Master: You’re not going to be mastering a great weapon.
  • Healer: It’s likely that you’re not the healer of the group, so leave this one to the actual healer.
  • Heavily Armoured: Even if you have proficiency with medium armor, it’s unlikely that you’ll need this. There are better ways to protect yourself.
  • Inspiring Leader: A helpful little trick that will be especially effective with your high charisma. If you’re the face of the party, you should take this.
  • Keen Mind: You don’t really need this for anything, unless your DM is a stickler about players remembering things.
  • Lightly Armoured: Some light armour would help for someone with such low hp, but it will grow more and more obsolete as the game progresses.
  • Linguist: Leave this to the more intelligent members of your party.
  • Lucky: This is a feat that is useful to everyone. If you choose to take it, it might give you a little extra edge in various situations.
  • Mage Slayer: This is the feat your enemies should hope to have to defend against you.
  • Magic Innate: If you want to steal from another class’s spell list, this is an easy way to do it.
  • Martial Adept: You’re not going to be needing anything from the fighter class.
  • Medium Armor Master: If you’re going for one of these armor master feats, light armor master is enough.
  • Mobile: This feat is mostly meant for melee attackers, but could come in handy for you in certain circumstances.
  • Moderately Armoured: A shield could be helpful, but you may need your hands free for spellcasting.
  • Mounted Combat: If you’re using a mount a lot in your game, maybe.
  • Observant: Not particularly for sorcerers, but a powerful feat nonetheless.
  • Polearm Master: Again, you’re not great with melee weapons.
  • Resilient: Pretty much a free-for-all. If you want to boost something, here’s your chance.
  • Ritual Caster: This might be helpful in your game, or it might be completely useless. Use your best judgement.
  • Savage Attacker: Not going to help you, you will die in melee.
  • Sentinel: Mostly revolves around opportunity attacks, which won’t affect you all that often.
  • Sharpshooter: Unless you’re proficient with a ranged weapon and you have nothing better to take, not recommended.
  • Shield Master: Your cool sorcerer magic will serve as your shield.
  • Skilled: Another feat that is a free-for-all and would help anyone.
  • Skulker: Hiding could be helpful as a sorcerer, but odds are you wouldn’t stay hidden for very long.
  • Spell Sniper: The ideal feat for you. Gives you an extra cantrip and makes your spells more effective.
  • Tavern Brawler: Most sorcerers sit in the corner in a dark cloak at a tavern for a reason. They don’t want to be brawling.
  • Tough: Extremely helpful in early game. Extra hp keeps your character alive, which is the ultimate goal here.
  • War Caster: If you’re looking to make a sorcerer that is proficient in melee attacks (not recommended optimization wise, but if your backstory calls for it, take creative freedom), this is the feat for you.
  • Weapon Master: This is one of the few melee feats you might want to consider. Still, better to focus your efforts on casting.

Multiclassing

By now you probably have a good idea for a sorcerer that you’re excited about, but if you’re looking to multiclass into another class, here are some thoughts.

These classes are ranked by how compatible each class would be with a sorcerer, as well as their potential to balance equally and not overshadow the sorcerer you’ve created.

  • Barbarian: Barbarians typically can’t cast, so multiclassing it with a caster isn’t the best way to go about creating a physically strong character.
  • Bard: Get more magic and more ways to use it! Since the bard class also has charisma for its casting stat, it’s a good choice.
  • Cleric: This would make an interesting combo with the divine soul sorcerous origin, but the casting stat for clerics is wis, which isn’t high on your list. Divine soul on its own should be enough to emulate the cleric experience.
  • Druid: Another wis caster isn’t what you’re looking for. Your skills don’t fit well with those of druids.
  • Fighter: Kind of defeats the purpose of casting from afar. Not so bad as barbarians for these purposes, but you will likely want to look elsewhere.
  • Monk: Slightly better than a fighter, and could make for a cool story. A touch of magic that protects you from harm, but still not the best choice if you don’t want it to overshadow the sorcerer class in your character.
  • Paladin: Another charisma caster, so multiclassing into this class widens your array of spell options. Healing is also always helpful for any party. Plus, if you don’t want to completely eliminate melee fighting from your repertoire, this multiclass is a good choice.
  • Ranger: Another good choice if you want to be able to fight without magic. It has a couple features that could help you out as a sorcerer, but it would mostly be separate from your sorcery.
  • Rogue: The charisma from sorcery mixed with dexterity from being a rogue could marry nicely. If you’re looking to be more of a dark and broody sorcerer, multiclassing into rogue would be a good choice.
  • Warlock: Make a deal with something dark to get extra power. Warlocks also cast with charisma, so combining these two could be really powerful, chaotic, and destructive.
  • Wizard: Wizards use intelligence to cast, so you should choose one of the other (way better in this circumstance) casting classes to maximize your power. 

Regards,

Sours: https://www.nonfictiongaming.com/2020/08/06/5e-sorcerer-guide/

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DnD 5e – Sorcerer Subclass Breakdown

Last Updated: October 12, 2021

Introduction

Sorcerers are defined thematically by their subclass, and they’re one of very few classes who decide their subclass at first level. Because this choice comes so early, it defines your build immediately, and the way your character functions at the table depends heavily on your subclass features.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer

RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.

I will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, even if it is my own, because I can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. I also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and I can’t guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.

The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released and this article will be updating accordingly as time allows.

RPGBOT is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.

Tasha’s Subclasses

Recent subclasses introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything introduced a new mechanic: free spells known as part of your subclass. If you’re eyeing that addition but want to play a different subclass, check out this blog post which has some suggestions.

Sorcerer Subclasses – Sorcerous Origin

Aberrant MindTCoE

The Sorcerer’s psionics-themed subclass, the Aberrant Mind notably lacks the same Psionic Energy Dice shared by the Psi Warrior and Soul Knife. Jeremy Crawford explained that feedback from the Unearthed Arcana playtest pointed out that the Sorcerer already has a pool of class-specific expendable resources in their Sorcery Points, and adding a second pool felt weird. So, WotC listened to community feedback and removed it for the final version of the subclass. It’s fun to be part of the design process, isn’t it?

Without Psionic Energy Dice, there’s little that makes this subclass actually “psionic”; it’s mostly just themed around tentacles. In fact, it’s much more “Great Old One” than “Psionic”, though I’m starting to think that the two might be more closely related than I realize. If you can’t decide between a GOOLock and a Sorcerer, this is a great compromise.

Mechanically, the Aberrant Mind is excellent. Psionic Spells dramatically expands your number of known spells, and doesn’t completely lock you into the granted spells like most similar subclass features. The other subclass features offer a number of interesting and powerful utility options, allowing you to solve many problems without needing to find a suitable spell and committing one of your precious few spells known. If you’re more comfortable playing a cleric or a wizard and having a lengthy list of spells available, the Aberrant Mind can make the Sorcerer a much easier prospect since its toolbox is so mucg larger than a typical sorcerer.

  1. Psionic Spells: There is a lot of complexity buried in this feature that’s very easy to overlook, but understanding what makes this so powerful will help you to capitalize on it.

    The first and most obvious benefit is that you get several excellent spells, including some warlock exclusives like Hunger of Hadar and wizard exclusives like Evard’s Black Tentacles. Not everything on the list is a gem, of course, and be sure to check my Warlock Spell List Breakdown and my Wizard Spell List Breakdown for details on the spells borrow from other spell lists.

    Slightly less obvious: this adds a total of 10 known leveled spells to your sorcerer (Mind Sliver is buried in the 1st-level spells on the table, and it’s a cantrip). A 20th-level sorcerer typically knows just 15 spells, so this is a massive increase. Even at level 1, you know twice as many spells as a typical sorcerer, plus you get an additional cantrip.

    Third, and easiest to overlook, is the retraining mechanic. The Sorcerer can already retrain one known spell every time they gain a level, but Psionic Spells also allows you to retrain the spells granted by the feature. Surprisingly, you can choose from the sorcerer, warlock, and wizard spell lists, though you’re limited to divination and enchantment spells. Of course, there are plenty of excellent divination and enchantment options (Hex is tempting at early levels), so that’s not a problem. Trade in spells that you’re not benefiting from as you gain levels, especially since divination options are often useful long after their spell level stops being defining in combat.

    1. 1st Level: Two decent low-level damage options, and the absolutely phenomenal Mind Sliver. I recommend retraining Arms of Hadar after a few levels, but you might enjoy Dissonant Whispers as an inexpensive way to force enemies to remove themselves from grapples and/or to provoke opportunity attacks.
    2. 3rd Level: Two options with situational uses. Detect Thoughts is difficult for spellcasters that aren’t Intelligence-based, so consider retraining it.
    3. 5th Level: Hunger of Hadar is an excellent AOE damage and area control option, and I’ve eyed it jealously from other spellcasting classes since 5e’s initial release. Sending is neat but not crucial, so you might retrain it, especially once you have long-distance teleportation available at higher levels.
    4. 7th Level: Black Tentacles is a good spell, but it does less damage and has a smaller AOE than Hunger of Hadar, and also doesn’t scale with spell level, so there’s a lot of redundancy between the two that the Sorcerer can’t justify. I recommend picking one of the two to keep and retraining the other. Summon Abberation is one of the new summon options presented in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, and it’s pretty good, offering three very effective choices to suit your needs.
    5. 9th Level: Two excellent utility options. Rary’s Telepathic Bond feels like a weird choice since you get Telepathic Speech at first level, but Telepathic Speech is extremely limited so Rary’s Telepathic Bond is a big upgrade.
  2. Telepathic Speech: A useful utility, but very limited compared to most forms of telepathy. You can communicate, but you still need to share a language, the duration is short, and you can only connect to one creature. That’s enough to send your party’s Scout off on their own with a way to remain in contact, but beyond stealth and subtlety there are few meanignful ways to use this.
  3. Psionic Sorcery: This saves you one or two Sorcery Points (depending on the spell level) when you spend Sorcery Points to get extra spell slots. You also don’t need to spend the Bonus Action to convert Sorcery Points into spell slots first. You also get to cast the spell without verbal or somatic components (and some material components), so you get the benefits of Subtle Spell for free.

    It’s not perfectly clear how this works if you retrained the spells from Psionic Spells. This definitely applies to the default spells that you get, but I’m not sure otherwise. I think RAW it works with retrained spells since you still get those spells from the feature, but keep an eye out for Sage Advice or Errata, and check with your DM until then.

  4. Psychic Defenses: Psychic damage is rare, but charm and fear effects are very common.
  5. Revelation in Flesh: For a single Sorcery Point, every one of these effects is excellent. Replicating any of these is at least a 2nd-level spell, so the effects aren’t just good, they’re very cost-efficient. Note that since the fly and swim speeds are based on your walking speed, it’s easy to boost your new movement speed with buffs like Longstrider or Haste.

    Personal note: I find the term “writhing sensory tendrils” upsetting.

  6. Warping Implosion: Great for setting up combos with Quicken Spell. Follow this with a quickened AOE damage spell life Meteor Swarm or area control spell like Force Cage and you can eliminate whole encounters in one turn even at this high level. The saving throw is Strength, though, and with the exceptions of enemies who rely on magic in combat many enemies will have high Strength saves.

Clockwork SoulTCoE

Where the Wild Magic Sorcerer is chaos, randomness, rerolls, and wacky fun chaos, the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer is order, no rerolls, numerical minimums, and straight order and efficiency. It offers tools to solve a variety of problems in orderly fashion, including spell options borrowed from the Cleric and Wizard. However, the Clockwork Soul leans heavily on its spell list, and the other subclass features are often only situationally useful, leaving the player to wait for these features to matter from time to time in between casting spells every turn.

The Clockwork Soul shares a lot of design philosophy with the Abberant Mind, giving sorcerers 10 more known leveled spells and the ability to retrain them into a pair of specific schools of magic. However, the Clockwork Soul’s other features are notably more situational in nature than those given to the Abberant Mind. The Clockwork Soul is by no means bad or weak, though, and its spell list includes several excellent options from the Cleric spell list (though none of them are hit point restoration so you’ll need to get that elsewhere), in addition to a lot of staple spellcasting options which a sorcerer might otherwise be forced to take with their very limited known spells to avoid leaving their party without crucial options like Dispel Magic.

For a veteran player with a solid grasp of the rules and of their party’s capabilities, the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer is an excellent option. However, unless you know exactly where the Clockwork Soul fits into your party, you may find that the subclass has a lot of redundancies with other spellcasters. If your party wants to go without a cleric or druid, the Clockwork Soul is a great option, though you’ll still need to solve the issue of hit point restoration. For less experienced players, the Clockwork Soul may be a great introduction to the Sorcerer due to their abnormally large list of known spells, but personally I would still point new players to less complex subclasses like draconic bloodline or less “serious business” options like wild magic.

  1. Clockwork Magic: There is a lot of complexity buried in this feature that’s very easy to overlook, but understanding what makes this so powerful will help you to capitalize on it.

    The first and most obvious benefit is that you get several excellent spells, including some cleric options like Aid and wizard options like Summmon Construct and Wall of Force. Not everything on the list is a gem, of course, and be sure to check my Cleric Spell List Breakdown (for the cleric spells which you get by default) and my Warlock Spell List Breakdown and Wizard Spell List Breakdown for details on the spells borrowed from the Wizard’s spell list as well as possible retraining options.

    Slightly less obvious: this adds a total of 10 known leveled spells to your sorcerer. A 20th-level sorcerer typically knows just 15 spells, so this is a massive increase. Even at level 1, you know twice as many spells as a typical sorcerer.

    Third, and easiest to overlook, is the retraining mechanic. The Sorcerer can already retrain one known spell every time they gain a level, but Clockwork Magic also allows you to retrain the spells granted by the feature. Surprisingly, you can choose from the sorcerer, warlock, and wizard spell lists, though you’re limited to abjuration and transmutation spells. Of course, there are plenty of excellent abjuration and transmutation options (Absorb Elements and Shield are good at any level), so that’s not a problem. Trade in spells that you’re not benefiting from as you gain levels, especially since abjuration options are often useful long after their spell level stops being defining in combat.

    1. 1st Level: Protection from Evil and Good is a staple buff at any level, covering a wide range of dangerous creatures. Alarm isn’t useful enough to justify on a sorcerer, so retrain it.
    2. 3rd Level: Two staple cleric options.
    3. 5th Level: A staple utility option and an important defensive buff. Not glamorous or flashy, but hard to go without.
    4. 7th Level: Freedom of Movement is situationally useful, but helpful against enemies which like to grapple. Summon Construct is a wizard exclusive, and it’s a decent summon option if you need a pet Defender.
    5. 9th Level: Greater Restoration isn’t as important as Lesser Restoration, but it’s still very important. The conditions which it fixes are miserable and in many cases borderline lethal. Wall of Force (another wizard exclusive) is one of the best area control effects around, especially if you have another spellcaster in the party who can drop some ongoing area damage before you put your enemies inside the impenetrable hemisphere.
  2. Restore Balance: This solves a lot of problems. Creatures which have Advantage on saves against specific conditions are common, and for a sorcerer encountering those resistances can handicap you a great deal due to your limited pool of spells knowns. Similarly, if your allies have Disadvantage on a save (such as because they are Restrained or Poisoned), you can help protect them. The usage pool is limited, so save this for when it really matters.
  3. Bastion of Law: This is similar in many ways to temporary hit points (though you can notably apply this on top of temporary hit points). The duration is great, and allowing the target to choose when to use the ward allows you to take a little damage when you know that there’s a Short Rest coming so you can spend some hit dice to manage your limited resources.

    Compare this to casting False Life. False Life is a 1st-level spell, so you can spend two Sorcery Points to get a spell slot with which to cast False Life. False Life lasts for one hour, and grants 1d4+4 (average 6.5) temporary hit points. Each additional spell level adds 5 more hit points. For those same two Sorcery points, you can give a creature a ward with two dice, which will prevent an average of 9 damage and lasts until you take a Long Rest. Each additional Sorcery Points adds 4.5 more damage protection, compared to one or two Sorcery Points for 5 more temporary hit points from False Life. So Bastion of law is cheaper compared to a 1st-level spell slot, and the scaling cost of converting Sorcery Points into spell slots keeps this more efficient.

  4. Trance of Order: The Fundamental Math of DnD 5e assumes that players will succeed on attack rolls against a typical CR-appropriate AC if they roll an 8 or better (provided that your primary ability scores hits 16, 18, and 20 at levels 1, 4, and 8), giving players a 65% chance of hitting an attack against an average, CR-appropriate enemy. Giving you a minimum guaranteed roll of 10 on attacks, saves, and ability checks means that you’re mostly guaranteed to hit with attacks, pass on any saves in which you’re proficient and have a decent ability score, and pass any ability checks with skills in which you’re well-suited. With a 1-minute duration, this is enough to get through one combat or to solve a perform series of skill checks if you move quickly.

    This is a great ability on almost any other class, but on the Sorcerer its usefulness is extremely limited. Spells which require attack rolls (with the exception of cantrips) mostly vanished around 2nd-level spells unless you’re upcasting low-level spells. Sorcerers are proficient with Constitution saves so this helps with Concentration, so this helps a lot with that. Since sorcerers are Charisma-based, most of your skills will be too and using Persuasion in combat doesn’t work particularly well. So the three best uses for this are cantrips, upcasting low-level spells like Scorching Ray, and Concentration. That’s underwhelming for an ability which costs 5 Sorcery Points to recharge.

  5. Clockwork Cavalcade: Even with three effects, this is still only situationally useful. The 100 points of healing will be the most consistently useful option for adventurers, allowing you to get allies back on their feat and restore a nice chunk of hit points. But at this level, healing options like Mass Cure Wounds and Heal have been around for a while. The effect to repair items is neat, but only rarely useful. Adventurers spend a lot more time breaking stuff than fixing it. Perhaps the most remarkable effect is the last one, which outright ends spell effects without the ability checks required by Dispel Magic. But even then, it’s rare that you’ll face more than a small handful enemies with magic effects on them, so in most cases you can just upcast Dispel Magic to 6th level to get the same effect if you don’t want to risk making the ability checks.

Divine SoulXGtE

If you can’t decide between playing a divine caster or an arcane caster, play a Divine Soul. Access to the Cleric’s spell list allows you to combine some of the best spell options in the game, allowing a single character to solve nearly any problem that can be solved using magic.

Divine Soul’s biggest challenge is the inherent analysis paralysis imposed by fitting two spell lists into just 15 spells known. You simply can’t learn everything that you want to learn on one character. But that’s the guiding principle of the Sorcerer: you need to pick your favorites and use Metamagic to make those options work.

  1. Divine Magic: Access to the cleric spell list is amazing. They have many of the absolute best divine spells, including most of the best healing options, a ton of great support options, and many fantastic divinations. Unfortunately you’ll need to split your focus between normal arcane spells and pretending to be a cleric, but the possibilities for combinations are amazing.

    You also gain an additional spell known at level 1 based on your alignment. One spell doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s still very useful for the Sorcerer.

    • Good: Important in most parties, but Healing Word is more frequently useful.
    • Evil: Beyond low levels the damage is poor, the scaling is bad compared to many sorcerer spells, and getting into melee to use this is risky.
    • Law: A fantastic buff at any level.
    • Chaos: Decent but difficult to rely upon, and if you’re going to force Wisdom saves you really want failure to be more meaningful than a small debuff.
    • Neutral: A fantastic defensive buff.
  2. Favored by the Gods: Most features like this only grant 1d6, which has a lower average and is less reliable because it’s only a single die. This also recharges on a short rest, making it a frequent and reliable defensive option.
  3. Empowered Healing: The problem with this ability is the problem with healing in combat. If you’re in a fight, healing is rarely the best option. Death is easy to prevent in 5e, and if you’ve got Healing Word you can get an ally back into the fight as a bonus action. Being massively injured isn’t much of an impediment, so allies can limp around at 1 hp and still be perfectly effective. With the exception of Heal, getting a creature back to full hit points should generally be reserved for healing out of combat. Once you’re out of combat and your action economy isn’t limited, you usually don’t need to expend limited resources like spell slots to scrape together every last hit point. Sit down and spend some hit dice.
  4. Otherworldly Wings: Persistent flight is amazing at any level.
  5. Unearthly Recovery: This could be a lot of healing, but by this level you probably know Heal.

Draconic BloodlinePHB

If you want to use the Elemental Adept feat, the Draconic Sorcerer is among the best build choices available. In terms of raw spell damage output, it’s hard to match the Draconic Sorcerer between Elemental Affinity and Metamagic. The Evocation Wizard is comparable, but the ability to break the action economy with Metamagic allows the Draconic Sorcerer to produce much higher spikes of damage than the Evocation Wizard can match.

Because Draconic Bloodline leans so heavily on elemental damage, the Elemental Adept feat is essentially required. Resistances will be a persistent problem which can negate your most exciting subclass features and render your favorite spells nearly useless. Also expect to take Transmuted Spell Metamagic so that you can fit more spells into your favorite element.

Draconic Bloodline is primarily a blaster, and between its unusal durability and emphasis on direct damage, it’s very simple to play. This makes the Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer an excellent choice for new players.

  1. Dragon Ancestor: Your choice of ancestor only matters mechanically for the energy type, and it only affects the Elemental Affinity ability. That said, you want to pick an energy type which you can use frequently and which offers a large number of spell options which can apply Elemental Affinity.
    • Acid: Recent sourcebooks have gradually added new and powerful options for acid damage, including excellent spells like Tasha’s Caustic Brew. Acid damage from enemies is roughly as common as cold or lightning.
    • Cold: Roughly as many damage options as Acid or Lightning, but they’re less consistently good. Expect to rely on spell options like Ice Knife and Snilloc’s Snowball Swarm which may be slightly more challenging than comparable fire-based spells.
    • Fire: Of the available options, fire damage has the most available spells by far, and while resistance and immunity to fire is common, so expect to take Elemental Adept. Enemies who deal fire damage are also common, so the resistance is frequently helpful.
    • Lightning: Nearly as common as Fire spells, and considerably fewer creatures resist it.
    • Poison: Poison resistance and immunity are extremely common, and since Elemental Adept doesn’t allow you to select Poison you will have trouble overcoming resistance. There also aren’t many good spells which deal poison damage. Poison damage from enemies is common, but if you’re worried about it you can play a dwarf.
  2. Draconic Resilience: This helps offset your d6 hit points, and gives you the equivalent of permanent Mage Armor. You’ll still want a bit of Dexterity and Constitution, but this is very helpful. Note that the bonus hit points only apply to Sorcerer levels, but if you’re taking a Sorcerer dip the armor will continue to function.
  3. Elemental Affinity: According to Sage Advice and the Errata, this effect (and similar effects) apply to a single damage roll per spell, so it’s much more effective on AOE spells like Fireball than on multiple-attack style spells like Scorching Ray. A boost of up to 5 damage per spell, especially with AOE spells, is a considerable boost, especially on low-level spells like Burning Hands, so your low-level spells can continue to be big damage dealers while consuming your less-powerful spell slots. You also have the ability to grant yourself energy resistance for an hour without the need to conentrate.
  4. Dragon Wings: Flight is crucial at high levels, especially for spellcasters who need to stay out of reach of terrifying melee enemies. Spells like Fly require Concentration, which severely limits your options, so the ability to remain in flight and concentrate on other effects is a massive tactical advantage.
  5. Draconic Presence: Cast Fear or cast Calm Emotions or something. This is rarely 6 Sorcery Points. The big advantage over other options is that the AOE follows you and creatures that enter the area after you activate Draconic Presence are affected. The best use case for this is when a mob of enemies are charging you and your allies, but those situations are rare and could easily be handled by polymorphing into a dragon.

Shadow MagicXGtE

Powerful and versatile with a good mix of abilities, the Shadow Magic bloodline is at its best in the dark. Even in areas of bright light, the magical darkness rules will give you a massive tactical advantage over anyone except devils and the handful of warlocks (or people who take Eldritch Initiate) who have the Devil’s Sight invocation.

Hound of Ill Omen makes the Shadow Magic Sorcerer an ideal save-or-suck caster, providing an easy and relatively inexpensive way to impose Disadvantage on targets’ saving throws. While your spell selection isn’t so broad as subclasses like Aberrant Mind and Clockwork Soul, the sheer incredible power of Hound of Ill Omen allows you to thrive with a very small spell selection.

  1. Eyes of the Dark: Darkvision is important in a game that often includes a lot of dungeons, caves, and other poorly-lit locales. 120 ft. Darkvision means that you can safely attack other enemies with Darkvision while remaining outside their vision range. In places that are well lit (like outside, if that’s somewhere that go for whatever reason), casting Darkness using Sorcery Points means that you’ve got a fun little bubble where you (and usually only you) can see normally. Darkness is a 2nd-level spell, and converting a 2nd-level spell slot to Sorcery Points gives you 2 Sorcery Points, so all that it costs you is the Bonus Action to make the conversion.
  2. Strength of the Grave: This might keep you going if you’re dropped bit an attack that doesn’t deal a lot of damage, but against abilities which deal lots of damage all at once like breath weapons or spells it’s going to be very difficult to make the saving throw.
  3. Hound of Ill Omen: Even at high levels when the dire wolf stat block won’t be threatening, forcing Disadvantage on saving throws means that you can easily hit the target of your hound with a save-or-suck spell immediately after summoning the hound.

    The hound also moves unerringly toward the target, so if they become invisible you have a great way to locate them. The hound can move through objects (though it can’t fly), so even solid walls won’t stop this thing once you summon it, and it has enough hit points that it can suffer a few attacks before it dies.

    In essence, this is Heightened Spell attached to a very determine set of teeth, and unlike Heightened Spell the target suffers Disadvantage on all saves against your spells rather than the first save for an affected spell. As an example: you can target a creature with your hound then hit it with Hold Monster, and it will make every save against Hold Monster at Disadvantage. Even better, your wolf will attack it with Advantage and score automatic critical hits (provided that it hits, which is still a problem against high-AC foes) since the target it paralyzed.

    Curiously, there’s no limitation on how many hounds you can have beyond the Sorcery Point cost. If you want to summon a hound every turn until you run out of sorcery points, you’re free to do so. If you want to get multiple hounds on the field then upcast Hold Monster to paralyze a bunch of things, that’s a thing you can do. I’ve done it, and it’s exactly as amazing as it sounds.

  4. Shadow Walk: Free teleportation as a Bonus Action! The range is pretty good, and in a pinch you can cast Darkness to create an area in which to teleport. You can even use this while travelling, allowing you to move roughly 5 times as fast as normal by combining a comfortable walking pace and frequent teleportation.
  5. Umbral Form: The Sorcery Points are cheaper than casting many spells which let you walk through walls and creatures like Etherealness. Hopefully you won’t need the damage resistances because you have great defensive options like Improved Invisibility, but you might be able to use Umbral Form before polymorphing and maintain the damage resistance.

Storm SorcerySCAG / XGtE

Storm Sorcery faces several issues, which is unfortunate because the flavor is really fun. Tempestuous Magic doesn’t scale, and it’s obsolete by level 3. The premise of the subclass requires you to stay just outside of melee range, dodging in to use Heart of the Storm before retreating with Tempestuous Magic.

It’s an interesting premise, but it’s extremely risky. Unless you’re somehow boosting your speed (spells like Longstrider can help) or flying (aarakocra, winged tieflings, etc.), you’re stuck within walking distance on your enemies’ turns. It’s much safer for sorcerers to remain at the longest distance possible and assail their enemies from well outside of weapon range.

On top of the simple challenge of positioning, Heart of the Storm expects that you will know some spells which deal thunder or lightning damage, but you don’t get any for free. A misguided player could select spells which make Heart of the Storm totally useless.

You can make Storm Sorcery work, but doing so successfully all but requires flight as a racial trait so that you can dart in and out of melee easily. An extremely fast race like the Centaur might also suffice, but flight is still an easier choice because putting yourself 10 feet above your enemies makes you unassailable to half of the monster manual.

If you want a fix for Storm Sorcery, you need to solve one of two problems: Spells known, and Tempestuous Magic. Giving the Storm Sorcerer some spells known that will trigger Heart of the Storm makes the subclass functional at a bare minimum because players can’t accidently negate an entire subclass feature. You could also adjust Tempestuous Magic to work with cantrips which deal lightning or thunder damage (currently only Booming Blade, Shocking Grasp, and Thunderclap), which allows the Storm Sorcerer to use Tempestuous Magic more frequently so that they can practice the hit-and-run tactics built into the class right from level 1.

  1. Wind Speaker: Essentially four free languages. Especially nice if you are your party’s Face.
  2. Tempestuous Magic: 10 feet of flight won’t get you anywhere interesting. The primary function is to remove you from melee combat without drawing opportunity attacks. This will quickly stop being exciting once you can pick up Misty Step as a 2nd-level spell.

    The fact that it’s free is nice, especially if you like to run into close quarters to deliver spells like Thunder Wave. If this worked with cantrips it would be a defining feature of the subclass, but limiting it to leveled spells makes this a situational novelty.

  3. Heart of the Storm: Being within 10 feet of foes is rarely a good idea for a Sorcerer. The resistances are great, but it’s hard to bring the bonus damage into play without seriously endangering yourself.

    The damage bonus is pretty good so if you can manage shuffling into melee or flying just over your targets’ heads you can do quite a bit of damage. Combined with Tempestuous Magic you can rush in, trigger Heart of the Storm, and fly safely out of reach. You’ll still need to do something to prevent enemies from walking over and killing you, but at least you didn’t end your turn within reach.

  4. Storm Guide: Unless you’re in a seafaring campaign, this will almost certainly never matter.
  5. Storm’s Fury: This is very helpful since you’re apparently expected to stand within 10 feet of foes. Of course, knocking them 20 feet away means that you’ll need to follow them to continue applying Heart of the Storm.
  6. Wind Soul: Flight for your entire party at Essentially no cost and without Concentration.

Wild MagicPHB

Wild Magic is unpredictable, which means it’s unreliable and therefore ineffective. But it’s a lot of fun, so if your group can survive you not min-maxing this adds an element of zany fun to your game. Just be sure that your DM is willing to play along or you’ll have trouble.

The biggest problem with Wild Magic is that the use of the Wild Magic table is left up to the DM. The DM can choose to make you roll when you cast a leveled spell, and they can choose to make you reroll to recharge Tides of Chaos, which is your subclass’s only useful feature at first level.

The DM might decide that Wild Magic is too annoying, or they might simply forget. Or they might go crazy and have a regular Wild Magic Surge occur (this requires rolling a 1 on a d20 to see if anything happens) as well as triggering Tides of Chaos’s recharge mechanic because those two outcomes aren’t mutually exclusive. You could roll twice on the Wild Magic table for casting a single spell.

To fix the Wild Magic bloodline, you don’t even need to change the rules of the subclass: you just need an established agreement on how often Wild Magic rolls will occur. Here’s what I recommend: The sorcerer always roll the d20 for a wild magic surge when they cast a leveled spell. If Tides of Chaos is not recharged, instead the sorcerer will automatically roll on the Wild Magic table.

This allows Wild Magic to occur often enough to feel meaningful, but likely not every round. Similarly, Tides of Chaos has a very clear risk when it’s used. Yes, you can use it frequently, but you’re going to roll for Wild Magic almost immediately after that, which imposes an exciting risk-reward mechanic. That risk diminishes considerably when Controlled Chaos comes online at level 14, but by then the dangerous effects have largely become minor annoyances anyway.

  1. Wild Magic Surge: If your DM forgets to ask you to roll, this doesn’t matter. But it’s a core component of the subclass, so as a DM I would make you roll every time you cast a qualifying spell (unless we were trying to get through an encounter quickly). The effects range from comedic to catastrophic to fantastic, so there’s really no way to rate this.

    Roughly 7 of the 50 options on the table are potentially harmful to you or your allies in some way, so most of the effects are benign. Perhaps the most iconic option on the table is casting Fireball centered on yourself, which will almost certainly kill an entire low-level party. Fortunately, there’s only a 1 in 50 chance of that occurring when you roll on the table.

  2. Tides of Chaos: How useful this is depends entirely on how often your DM will call for a Wild Magic roll to let you recharge Tides of Chaos. Your DM is absolutely allowed to never trigger the recharge mechanic, limiting you to just one use per day. Or, they might allow you to recharge Tides of Chaos after every time you cast a leveled spell, allowing you to use Tides of Chaos frequently.

    The safest bet is to assume that you will get this once per day, and possibly more if your DM is feeling whimsical. In that case, using this for attack rolls is an absolute waste, but using it for saving throws can save your life.

  3. Bend Luck: When your allies fails a save against death by 1 or two, it’s heart-breaking. Spend the Sorcery Points and be everyone’s best friend. Two Sorcery Points is expensive, but your allies’ lives are worth it. If your group is using magic items, strongly consider a Bloodwell Vial so you have extra points to spend.
  4. Controlled Chaos: This considerably reduces the threat of the Wild Magic table, and makes it more of a source of unpredictable buffs and comic relief.
  5. Spell Bombardment: This is a little bit of extra damage on many of your damage-dealing spells. Spells which use large dice like Toll the Dead are less likely to trigger the benefit, but the extra damage is higher on average. Spells which roll a ton of small dice (like Meteor Swarm’s small mountain of d6s) are more likely to benefit, but the additional 3.5 damage feels really insignificant for such a high-level class feature. More damage is nice, of course; it’s just not very exciting since Empowered Spell has been an option for 15 levels.
Sours: https://rpgbot.net/dnd5/characters/classes/sorcerer/subclasses/


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