The DnD 5e Sorcerer Guide (2022)

Published on September 27, 2021, Last modified on June 11th, 2022

In this post, we will be examining the sorcerer’s class features and how you can optimize your sorcerer through choosing your race, background, ability scores, subclass, feats, and spells.

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What is this guide?

This guide is meant as a deep dive into the DnD 5e sorcerer. For a quick overview of other 5e classes, check out our Guide to 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.

Did you know?

D&D Beyond can help create your characters by making choices using a step-by-step approach. Full customization and control of your character, none of the flipping through hundreds of pages to reference obscure rules.

D&D 5e Sorcerer Overview

Level Proficiency Bonus Sorcery Points Features Cantrips Known Spells Known —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +2 Spellcasting, Sorcerous Origin 4 2 2
2nd +2 2 Font of Magic 4 3 3
3rd +2 3 Metamagic 4 4 4 2
4th +2 4 Ability Score Improvement 5 5 4 3
5th +3 5 5 6 4 3 2
6th +3 6 Sorcerous Origin feature 5 7 4 3 3
7th +3 7 5 8 4 3 3 1
8th +3 8 Ability Score Improvement 5 9 4 3 3 2
9th +4 9 5 10 4 3 3 3 1
10th +4 10 Metamagic 6 11 4 3 3 3 2
11th +4 11 6 12 4 3 3 3 2 1
12th +4 12 Ability Score Improvement 6 12 4 3 3 3 2 1
13th +5 13 6 13 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
14th +5 14 Sorcerous Origin feature 6 13 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
15th +5 15 6 14 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
16th +5 16 Ability Score Improvement 6 14 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
17th +6 17 Metamagic 6 15 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
18th +6 18 Sorcerous Origin feature 6 15 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
19th +6 19 Ability Score Improvement 6 15 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
20th +6 20 Sorcerous Restoration 6 15 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1

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.

Best Races for Sorcerer

Standard Races

Dragonborn:
  • Gem: Quite flavorful and effective when combined with Aberrant Mind sorcerer subclass. Any sorcerer build will appreciate a bit of damage resistance and the ability to get out of dodge with a flying ability.
  • Standard: Not terrible due to the +1 CHA, but besides the damage resistance there isn't much else here that is interesting to a sorcerer.
  • Draconblood: Only +1 CHA but Forceful Presence can assist with social skill checks.
Dwarf: No CHA is tough and the sorcerer won’t be tanking any time soon. Additional hit points are always helpful.
  • Hill: A bonus to WIS can occasionally help with Wisdom saves, additional hit points are useful.
  • Mountain: STR won't help but light and medium armor proficiency is always nice for casters.
Elf: Elves get a DEX bonus which can somewhat help the miserable AC of a Sorcerer.
  • Eladrin: DEX for AC and CHA for spellcasting makes the eladrin's array a solid start for a sorcerer. The free casting of misty step and it's bonus effect will be excellent utility.
  • Mark of Shadow: DEX and CHA bonuses are both welcome and the extra castings plus expanded spell list will go a long way to help the sorcerer's lack of spells known.
Gnome: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective, of which there is only one subrace.
Half-Elf: The +2 CHA, ASI, and skill versatility make this is one of the better races for the Sorcerer class. The Mark of Storm subrace is particularly tempting because it offers a number of spells while keeping with a solid ability mod bonus.
Half-Orc: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
Halfling: Only a +1 to CHA will make Halflings a tough choice for Sorcerers.
Human:
  • Mark of Passage: Can work for an interesting and mobile Hexblade, but it will still be at a disadvantage without CHA.
  • Standard: A middle of the road pick because they increase all their ability scores by 1.
  • Variant: Getting CHA plus a proficiency and a feat at 1st-level is typically really good. Picking up Shadow Touched or Fey Touched is a great way to get extra spells at 1st-level.
Tiefling: Sorcerers excel with CHA, so any of the subraces will do fine.
  • Bloodline of Asmodeus: +2 CHA and solid spells.
  • Bloodline of Baalzebul: +2 CHA like other subraces, but with less effective spells.
  • Bloodline of Dispater: CHA for spellcasting and DEX for AC is perfect for a sorcerer, plus the spells offer good utility for stealthiness.
  • Bloodline of Fierna: +2 CHA and good spells for a persuasive character.
  • Bloodline of Glasya: CHA for spellcasting and DEX for AC is perfect for a sorcerer, plus the spells offer good utility for stealthiness.
  • Bloodline of Levistus: CHA for spellcasting, CON for hit points, and defensive spells to keep you alive.
  • Bloodline of Mammon: +1 INT like other subraces, but with less effective spells.
  • Bloodline of Mephistopheles: +2 CHA, good spells, and useful racial traits.
  • Variant – Devil’s Tongue: +2 CHA and an excellent subset of spells for a sorcerer.
  • Variant – Winged: Having flight is amazing, and you get to keep the +2 CHA.

Non-Standard Races

Aarakocra: The only beneficial thing here is flight.
  • Updated: 1st level, concentrationless flight, an extra spell, and a beneficial ASI array make this an extremely attractive option for sorcerers.
Aasimar: Any of these subraces will work for sorcerers. Fallen and Protector are the best for sure.
Bugbear: Nothing here for a sorcerer.
  • Updated: Bugbear sorcerers can now take CHA, and the new Surprise Attack can be very effective with spell attacks that deliver multiple hits. You can get scorching ray at 2nd-level, which allows you to make three ranged spell attacks for 2d6 damage. With Surprise Attack, these now do 4d6 damage each bringing you up to 12d6 damage as early as level 2.
Centaur: Nothing here for a sorcerer.
  • Updated: Nothing here for a sorcerer.
Changeling: +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.
  • Updated: Not much changes for the changeling sorcerer as they will still take CHA. The racial traits are slightly improved, making the updated changeling an upgrade over the original.
Fairy: A couple of extra spells and free, concentrationless flight are perfect additions to the sorcerer's skill set.
Firbolg: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
  • Updated: With flexible ASIs, firbolgs are an excellent choice for sorcerers to give them more spells at their disposal.
Genasi: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
Gith: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
Goblin: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
  • Updated: Now that goblins can choose CHA they are a solid pick for a sorcerer. Fury of the Small will add damage to all of your spells and Nimble Escape is a great failsafe to get out of harms way if you find yourself within melee range.
Goliath: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
  • Updated: Not a terrible choice since Stone's Endurance will do lots for survivability, though ideally your sorcerer won't be taking lots of damage to begin with.
Harengon: A small bonus to initiative can help you drop a big AoE spell and the free disengages can help if you get caught in melee distance. While all these abilities are "nice to haves", there is nothing here is particularly exciting for an sorcerer.
Hobgoblin: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
  • Updated: Sorcerers are far too squishy to use Fey Gift in combat, as they would need to be close to an ally to provide the Help action. Still, Fortune from the Many is useful to have as a failsafe for saving throws.
Kalashtar: Because the kalashtar’s racial traits are so good, having only +1 to CHA is acceptable.
Kenku: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
Kobold: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
Leonin: The +2 CON is okay for hit points and concentration checks, but not getting a CHA or even DEX bonus really hurts. The Daunting Roar ability can help you get out of situations where you find yourself surrounded, but so could a misty step.
Lineage:
  • Hexblood: A couple extra spells and their resulting free once-a-day casting is okay for a sorcerer, especially one that uses cantrips for damage more often than not. The Eerie Token utility can also help due to your restricted spell list.
Lizardfolk: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
Loxodon: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
Minotaur: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
Orc: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
Satyr: Perfect ASI array, face skill proficiencies, extra movement, and Magic Resistance make this an ideal class for the sorcerer.
Shifter:
  • Swiftstride Shifter: The only subrace that hosts a CHA increase is the swiftstride shifter, although it is only +1.
Simic Hybrid: 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.
Tortle: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
Triton: 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.
Vedalken: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.
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 Pureblood: 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?

SkillsUnfortunately 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. Sorcerers can use an arcane focus as their spellcasting focus.

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
    • Aberrant Mind 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.
      • Cantrip
        • 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 level
        • 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. Verbal only components, good range, psychic damage, and can cause an enemy to move away from an ally. Not only does this provide support on the battlefield, but it can also cause an opportunity attack which makes the spell even more powerful.
      • 3rd level
        • 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 level
        • Hunger of Hadar: Decent crowd control option, solid damage if you can keep baddies in there or cast it at a choke point.
        • Sending: Solid communication spell for at least one party member to have.
      • 7th level
        • 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 level
        • 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 Soul spells: 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 level
        • Alarm: This spell is relatively useful whenever you’re resting. What’s better is it can be cast as a ritual. If you have Ritual Casting, this is never a bad pick.
        • Protection from Evil and Good: You love to see this spell in any party, the buffs this can provide are extremely useful in any combat scenario. The creature types this affects are very common so this spell will likely be useful in your campaign.
      • 3rd level
        • 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 level
        • Dispel Magic: Always make sure at least one of your party members has this.
        • 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 level
        • 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 level
        • 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: At the time of writing, these are the 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 ResilienceThe 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: This is a solid effect that can work well with certain spells in certain circumstances. Most of the time, a 1 minute duration will be enough for combat so there’s not a whole lot of use doubling the duration of these spells. When you start to look at spells that have 10 minute duration or longer, you can start to see some use in this. Need to fly somewhere that you can’t get to in 10 minutes? Now you have 20 minutes. This option really shines if you’re able to extend an 8 hour duration spell so you can cast the spell, long rest, then have the spell for your next adventuring day.
  • 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 Feats for Sorcerer

  • Alert: Being up higher in the initiative order can be very valuable for a sorcerer as they can go easily go nova with their Meta Magic options.
  • Chef: Nothing about this class screams, "I'm also a chef.” The Con bonus is nice, but overall you're going to want to skip this. There's no flavor here for spellcasters.
  • Crossbow Expert: You’re going to want to skip this, as you don’t want to be in melee range. You’re better off with Magic Initiate or Metamagic Adept.
  • Crusher: Absolutely not worth it, as they never want to be in melee range. This feat is for martial classes.
  • Defensive Duelist: You have no business being in melee range, so you don’t want this feat at all.
  • Eldritch Adept: Great option to pick up Armor of Shadows for free mage armor whenever you want it.
  • Elemental Adept: Most sorcerer subclasses can skip this, as they have varied elemental damage. However, Draconic Bloodline (Fire) and Storm Sorcery can benefit the most from this, as they are focused on a single element.
  • Elven Accuracy: Being a CHA caster means you'll get some good use from this feat if you use spell attacks and can get advantage. Wild Magic Sorcerers are the only subclass with repeatable advantage, but it relies entirely on your DM for multiple uses at the end of the day.
  • Fey Teleportation: 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.
  • Fey Touched: Free misty step, an ASI to CHA, and an extremely potent 1st-level spell. What's not to love? Due to their lack of known spells, sorcerers will doubly appreciate the additional spells gained by this feat. The best option would probably be silvery barbs, a ridiculously powerful reaction spell that sorcerers don't normally get access to.
  • Fighting Initiate: Sorcerers don’t meet the requirement of having proficiency in a martial weapon.
  • 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.
  • Great Weapon Master: Sorcerers can’t wield Martial weapons either and are far too squishy to be up close and personal.
  • 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.
  • Mage Slayer: Sorcerers don’t want this. They should seldom be attacking with melee weapons.
  • Magic Initiate: Probably the only full caster that doesn’t really benefit from this feat as they can only get utility out of it. You’re better off with more impactful feats on the spells you already have, like Spell Sniper.
  • Metamagic Adept: Naturally, sorcerers will benefit the most from this feat, giving them more than the measly 3 metamagic options they get with their class feature. While sorcerers can only use the added sorcery points for metamagic, it does allow them to have more than the cap of 20.
  • Mobile: Definitely a skip, you never want to be in melee range for long.
  • Mounted Combatant: Nothing here for a sorcerer.
  • Observant: Neither of these stats works well for sorcerers, sadly. They don’t benefit from either stat, and they don’t generally lean into a more investigative playstyle.
  • Piercer: You don’t have access to the two spells that deal piercing damage, and you aren’t a DEX-based class. This is a definite skip.
  • Poisoner: Nothing in the sorcerer kit would make this feat worth getting at all. They get a few poison spells, but they aren’t as good as their other spells.
  • Polearm Master: Have no use for this feat.
  • Resilient: Sorcerers don’t need Resilient to pick up a proficiency in CON like most spellcasters because they already have one.
  • Sentinel: Sorcerers don't want anything to do with melee combat so this feat provides no value.
  • Shadow Touched: Invisibility is a great spell for casters that need to get out of dodge. The free casting of invisibility and another 1st-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.
  • Sharpshooter: Sorcerers gain nothing from this feat, as they don’t typically ever rely on ranged weapon damage.
  • Shield Master: Despite wanting more survivability, sorcerers don't get access to shield proficiencies making this feat unavailable.
  • Skill Expert: I wouldn’t rely on this feat unless you’re going for a specific use case. You’re usually better off casting spells to solve your problems than relying on a skill check.
  • Skulker: Sorcerers won’t find anything useful out of this feat. They’re much better off spellcasting than wasting their turns hiding with ranged weapons.
  • Slasher: Sorcerers won’t find anything useful here, as they don’t want to be in melee range.
  • Spell Sniper: Increased range can be covered with metamagic, and ignoring cover on spell attacks isn’t enough to pick this feat.
  • Telekinetic: Sorcerers might enjoy this, as it gives them a little more to do during turns without using a spell slot. However, it’s still not a huge upgrade. It does allow them to push enemies into AoE spells, though.
  • Telepathic: Detect thoughts 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 Spells for Sorcerer

Cantrip

  • Acid Splash: Can target multiple creatures.
  • Blade Ward: The only time this is worth it is if you know for a fact you're going to be taking bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing from a weapon in the next turn which isn't a common occurrence. Otherwise, if you find yourself in a tricky situation and need to mitigate damage for a turn, take the Dodge action.
  • Chill Touch: Good damage and a solid debuff for creatures that are able to heal themselves. This cantrip because extremely effective when fighting undead creatures.
  • Create Bonfire: Good damage and battlefield control.
  • Dancing Lights: Solid range and utility when you need to light a dark area. Has very similar effects to the light cantrip, so take your pick of whichever you prefer.
  • Fire Bolt: One of the better damage dealing cantrips. Good range and damage dice, fire is one of the most resisted damage types so be careful when casting at unknown enemies.
  • Friends: Give yourself advantage on CHA checks, but after a minute the target will become hostile. This certainly has its uses, like interrogation or doing a very quick deal with a shopkeeper. Otherwise, the cons outweigh the pros.
  • Frostbite: Frostbite has a very interesting secondary effect (giving disadvantage on target’s next attack). The problem is that it requires a CON save which many monsters are very good at.
  • Green-Flame Blade: Good option for martial spellcasters as long as the enemy their attacking has allies nearby. Scales relatively well with levels, but depending on the amount of extra attacks you get this may or may not be worth it. Definitely a good option for builds that have picked up War Caster.
  • Light: Useful, but there are plenty of ways around having to pick up this spell. As long as your not underwater, simple torch could save you a slot for another cantrip.
  • Mage Hand: Good utility. You can activate traps, grab small objects when you can't reach them, etc.
  • Mending: Being able to repair mundane object is situationally useful at the best of times, a waste of a cantrip at the worst.
  • 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: If used creatively, this cantrip can be the most flexible tool in a spellcaster arsenal.
  • Poison Spray: Bad range, a common save to avoid all damage, and a commonly resisted damage type. Pass.
  • Prestidigitation: Extremely versatile, even if the effects are small this cantrip can do a lot.
  • Ray of Frost: Solid damage cantrip. The speed reduction can help with kiting enemies.
  • 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

  • Absorb Elements: One of the best defensive spells at this level, especially for protecting against elemental AoE effects.
  • 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 filler spell 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.
  • Charm Person: One of the better options for dealing with NPCs outside of combat. Good for quick interactions, but the biggest caveat to this spell is the target knows it was charmed by you once the effect ends.
  • Chromatic Orb: Your go-to damage spell. It has a costly material component that might be difficult to procure at early levels. The diamond isn't consumed when you cast your spell, so once you get it you can use this spell as often as you'd like.
  • Color Spray: On average, this can affect creatures with 10hp more than sleep. Imposing the Blinded condition with no opportunity to save is quite the debuff. Unfortunately, it only lasts until the end of your next turn as opposed to sleep's full minute. Most of the time, sleep will be the way to go, especially because it has a longer range.
  • Comprehend Languages: Been able to read and understand any language will have its uses at some point. Is it worth it to keep the spell stocked for your whole campaign? Probably not. Is it worth it to stock when you're heading into ancient ruins? Probably.
  • Detect Magic: Every party should roll with at least one character who has access to detect magic.
  • Disguise Self: Great 1st level infiltration spell.
  • Expeditious Retreat: This spell could come in handy for characters that value high movement and may have no real use for their bonus action, like a Bladesinger.
  • False Life: Temporary hit points are always useful, especially at very low levels where characters can be taken out in a single hit.
  • Feather Fall: It's a situational effect but you’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
  • Fog Cloud: Obscuring an area can be better than it sounds. While inside the fog cloud, creatures are effectively blinded so make sure you use the spell in a way that makes it advantageous.
  • Ice Knife: Not great single target damage, not great AoE damage. Unless you need the 60ft range, burning hands would be a better spell to use because of the extra damage, better AoE, and damage on a successful save.
  • Jump: Tripling a creature's jump distance isn't usually worth a 1st level spell slot.
  • Mage Armor: Because of its long duration and lack of concentration, this spell is a great solution to 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. This spell is great if your targeting a spellcaster with the intention of making them drop concentration because they'll need to make a DC 10 CON check for each dart you send at them.
  • Ray of Sickness: Damage isn’t great but Poisoned is a nasty condition. Unfortunately, the save targets CON, 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: This is a great spell to have in your pocket when you're stuck in a sticky situation. Obviously, the most common use for this spell is to cast this spell when you get hit by an attack, and the +5 boost to your AC will cause the attack to miss. If you have a particularly low AC, you might find this spell sits on the sidelines more often than not at higher levels when enemies get higher attack bonuses.
  • Silent Image: This spell offers great utility for a 1st-level spell. Being able to move the image anywhere in 120ft and make it appear like it's moving makes it quite a bit more effective than minor illusion and will certainly help when you need to bamboozle an enemy (or watch some fantasy TV).
  • Silvery Barbs: Probably one of the more broken spells in 5th Edition. Silvery barbs allows you to automatically grant disadvantage to any creature when they succeed on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw. This may seem innocent enough, but when used in higher-level play and when noted that there is no saving throw to resist the effect, it can make short work of a legendary monster's Legendary Resistances when saving against powerful spell effects. Essentially, silvery barbs acts like a second casting of a high-level spell, for the low price of a 1st-level spell slot and a reaction. Yes, using your reaction means you won't be able to counterspell. But in most circumstances, especially when fighting a non-caster legendary monster, it can begin to trivialize encounters. The secondary effect, wherein you grant another creature advantage on the next attack roll, ability check, or saving throw is simply icing on top of the extremely powerful cake.
  • Sleep: Sleep is a very good 1st level spell slot. It can easily end encounters at lower levels. By the time you reach 5th-level  it will be pretty useless unless you want a semi-consistent way of none lethal damage.
  • 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.
  • Thunderwave: A fantastic, low-level way to knock opponents back if you find yourself in a sticky situation. Damage isn’t bad either but it targets CON saves.
  • Witch Bolt: Underwhelming damage, requires your action and concentration, and can be thwarted by simply stepping out of range.

2nd level

  • Aganazzar’s Scorcher: Decent AoE spell but is only better than other damage options when you can line up a bunch of enemies.
  • Alter Self: Decent utility when infiltrating hostile areas or needing to travel underwater. Unfortunately, disguise self is a 1st-level spell and usually better for infiltration and the combat part of this spell is pretty worthless.
  • Blindness/Deafness: Very effective debuff that doesn’t require concentration. The only downside is that it targets CON.
  • Blur: Pretty good evasive option. The higher your AC, the better this is.
  • 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 low level.
  • Darkness: Good way to cut off an opponent's visibility. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer much of a strategic advantage unless someone in your party can see through magical darkness.
  • Darkvision: Essential if you or party members don’t have natural Darkvision and want to navigate without a torch. At a 2nd-level spell slot, the cost for this effect is quite steep.
  • Detect Thoughts: Useful spell for interrogations, or to determine if there are any hidden creatures near your location.
  • 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: Decent buff before you go into combat. Also has a fair amount of utility for just about any out-of-combat situation.
  • Enlarge/Reduce: A solid shenanigan spell that is really only limited by your imagination. This can do everything from enlarging your barbarian so they can grapple an adult dragon to shrinking a boulder so you can fly with it then drop it on an enemy's head.
  • Gust of Wind: This spell is usually useless unless you find yourself in a rare situation where you can use it to push multiple enemies off of a cliff.
  • Hold Person: This can be encounter-breaking against humanoids. Scales well with levels.
  • Invisibility: Great infiltration spell.
  • Knock: Great spell if you don’t have a rogue around and works better than Thieves’ Tools anyway since it works automatically. If you need to be stealthy, keep in mind that this spell is audible from 300 feet away.
  • Levitate: Can be used to get up high, or completely remove a melee attacker from combat. Levitate can be good at any level.
  • Mirror Image: Great way to avoid damage with a low level spell slot. Plus, it doesn't require concentration. Overall a solid option.
  • Misty Step: Misty step is the staple movement spell for those classes lucky enough to have access to it. It can be cast as a bonus action and avoids opportunity attacks.
  • Phantasmal Force: There are extreme situations where this could be useful, but it is simply not a good spell.
  • Pyrotechnics: Limited because it needs a nonmagical flame to be able to work. Can be comboed with bonfire.
  • Scorching Ray: A potential 6d6 focused damage at a 2nd-level spell slot, can target multiple opponents, and has crit potential.
  • See Invisibility: If you know you're going to be coming across invisible creatures, this spell is worth it to stock. Otherwise, faerie fire is a better option as it allows party members to see the invisible creatures as well.
  • Shadow Blade: Typical sorcerers don’t want any part of melee combat, but this is an amazing option if you are going for a Sorcadin.
  • Shatter: Decent AoE that can be super effective against specific creatures. Also good for destroying inanimate objects.
  • Spider Climb: A useful movement option if you want to get away from a combatant or sneak into a hostile area. Seeing as your hands are free, you're still able to attack and cast spells while climbing. Will also allow you to live out your Spider-Man fantasy.
  • 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 a pursuing enemy while still doing damage.
  • Warding Wind: Pretty much the only time this is useful is when you’re caught in a combat situation where you are surrounded by ranged enemies or if you need to keep out a deadly gas.
  • Web: For when you want to get creative. Web is a great way to take away an enemy’s turn and deal some extra damage at the same time.

3rd level

  • Blink: 50% chance of completely avoiding any damage for a turn is more consistent over a long period than mirror image and better for builds with lower ACs than blur. Plus, it isn't concentration.
  • 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.
  • Dispel Magic: Always make sure at least one of your party members has this.
  • 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: Mediocre damage compared to Fireball but causes difficult terrain. Situational.
  • Fear: Amazing crowd control spell. Particularly good because they don’t get to retry the save until they break line of sight.
  • Fireball: The gold standard for damage spells in 5e. This spell was intentionally designed to be overpowered for a 3rd-level slot, making it the most optimal choice when looking to lay the hurt down.
  • Flame Arrows: The 1 hour duration allows this to be cast before initiative so that you don’t waste an action on this. If you are really set on adding 1d6 to your ranged attacks, consider taking a feat that will allow you to pick up hex or hunter’s mark instead.
  • Fly: Extremely useful movement option. Being able to fly opens up a whole new world and can overcome many obstacles. Be cautious about the concentration component when flying to lofty heights.
  • Gaseous Form: This spell can honestly vie for the top “infiltration” spell over invisibility. Being able to fly and move through tiny cracks as an inconspicuous cloud can make getting into any heavily defended fortress a cinch.
  • 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 and your party member's next turn.
  • Hypnotic Pattern: Good range, good AoE, and its effect are potent. Incapacitating multiple enemies is a fantastic tactic to passively flee from the situation or do massive damage with automatic crits. The effect can be ended by a friendly creature taking an action to wake the affected creature from its stupor, but that will eat up a lot of action economy. Either way you slice it, hypnotic pattern is one of the best crowd control spells at this level.
  • Intellect Fortress: Only useful in very specific circumstances. Say, for example, when wandering into a den of Mind Flayers.
  • Lightning Bolt: Does as much damage as fireball but has a less effective AoE because it’s a line rather than a circle.
  • Major Image: Much like silent imagemajor image is really only limited by your imagination. A 20ft cube is quite the space to play around in and fit just about any creature (within reason).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sleet Storm: Messes with enemy concentration, can extinguish flames, and has the potential to knock enemies prone.
  • Slow: This spell has a great range, good AoE, and imposes and handful of potent debuffs. While it may not be as straightforward and effective, it certainly has its place in combat. This is usually a more effective option that hypnotic pattern when you can't get all of the enemies in the AoE. That way, you can gain the advantage of the debuff and not have to worry about an enemy shaking his companions out of the stupor before you can react.
  • Stinking Cloud: Used in the right circumstances, like locking enemies in a room then casting this into the locked room or when an enemy has to funnel through a "choke" point (heh). Outside of these specific situations, it's quite mediocre.
  • 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.
  • Tongues: Most of the time, it will be tough to justify a 3rd-level spell for the effect this produces. Of course, understanding a creature and allowing it to understand you could have the potential to stop a terrible situation unfolding. This is a spell that would be worthwhile to prepare for specific situations, but is too niche to consider stocking all the time.
  • Water Breathing: This is almost required for enabling underwater traversal, which may or may not happen a lot in a campaign.
  • Water Walk: This is likely not to see use in an entire campaign.

4th level

  • Banishment: Get rid of creatures from another plane, or take out a big threat for most of the combat. One of the better save or suck spells out there. Keep in mind that, unless the creature is natively from another plane, they will return after the spell ends.
  • Blight: 4th-level single-target spell that targets a common save. It barely out damages 4th-level fireball and flat-out doesn’t work on some common creature types. SKIP.
  • Charm Monster: Charm person, just for any creature. Great for avoiding fights with potentially hostile monsters.
  • Confusion: Bestow curse is a better targeted debuff and is a full spell slot lower.
  • Dimension Door: Teleport, with a friend, over a much longer distance than misty step. Unfortunately, it’s two spell slots higher than misty step and a full action to cast. Still, this spell can save your bacon is a tight circumstance.
  • Dominate Beast: Not many Beasts are going to be worth your 4th level spell to dominate. If you’re fighting a CR8 T-Rex you’ll wish you had this spell.
  • 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 or rogue for extra crit + Divine Smite / Sneak Attack potential.
  • Ice Storm: You already have fireball, and ice storm does less damage, and the terrain control doesn’t make the reduced damage worth it.
  • Polymorph: The best save or suck spell at this level. The hour duration makes transforming a hostile creature and running away a viable option or will give you more time to finish of its friends before it transforms back. This also allows you to shape-shift a friendly party member into a beast for combat or exploration purposes. The sheer utility this spell offers makes it an incredibly effective spell to keep in your arsenal.
  • 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.
  • Stoneskin: Effectively double your or your favorite melee fighter’s hit points. Better at lower levels or when fighting enemies without magical attacks. If you'll be casting this on yourself, make sure you have a decent CON modifier and consider taking the Resilient (CON) feat if you don't have proficiency in CON saving throws or the War Caster feat for advantage on concentration checks.
  • Storm Sphere: Simply an amazing spell. 20ft radius that hits like a greatsword and a bonus action to deal 4d6 every turn.
  • Vitriolic Sphere: Worse damage than fireball on a successful save and better any more damage on a failed save. Targets the same save and effects the same radius. The only real change is that it's a full spell slot higher than fireball.
  • Wall of Fire: Amazing battlefield control option to divide enemies and deal massive damage.
  • 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

  • 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: Not quite as potent as fireball or lightning bolt for the resource of a 5th-level spell slot and it targets CON saves which are a common proficiency in monsters.
  • Creation: Allows you to make a rope, or a rock. Yeah.
  • Dominate Person: Amazing spell when fighting humanoids. Taking over the mind of an enemy can completely swing the direction of the encounter. While spells like hold person can take an enemy of the fight, dominate person can make that enemy into an ally essentially creating a two for one. If you are fighting against humanoids a lot in the late game, this is a simply outstanding spell.
  • Enervation: What happens when you cross witch bolt with vampiric touch and make them actually good? The increased 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 spellcasters 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.
  • Hold Monster: Spell that can take a creature out of the fight. Allows for a save after each turn which makes it worse than banishment for consistently keeping a monster out of the fight, but the monster can be attacked with advantage which will make quick work of it after it fails a save or two.
  • 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.
  • Insect Plague: A decent AoE damage and crowd control option.
  • Seeming: Neat out of combat spell.
  • Skill Empowerment: This spell is very flexible since you can give any creature Expertise in any skill. It is quite expensive at 5th level and it works best when the creature needs to use the same skill multiple times.
  • 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.
  • Telekinesis: This is a great spell to have perpetually stocked. Toss enemies around the battlefield or crush your enemies with a giant rock.
  • Teleportation Circle: Great teleport spell that requires some prep before it can become really effective. That said, it's nice to not have the ability to fail during your teleport like is possible with teleport. Awesome utility spell to have in your back pocket.
  • 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, shrink the wall, and provide some solid turn-over-turn damage.
  • Wall of Stone: Great tool to manipulate the battlefield to your party’s advantage.

6th level

  • Arcane Gate: Allows you to open a portal between two locations that you can see. Fairly similar effect to dimension door except as many creatures as you like can move through the portal in a 10 minute time span. Useful for getting more than one companion out of dodge, but it's quite a high spell slot for the effect.
  • Chain Lightning: Great damage and solid control over targets. If you need to do damage to multiple enemies but have friendlies in your fireball radius, this is a good option.
  • Circle of Death: Fireball type effect, but has a much wider radius. Necrotic damage, isn't enough to make this 6th level spell worth it, especially because it targets a CON save.
  • Disintegrate: Live out your power fantasy as Thanos. The damage can be great, but a successful save negates ALL damage. Definitely a gamble that has huge payoff.
  • Eyebite: Clunky spell with powerful effects. Essentially, as long as you maintain concentration, you can use your action to imbue a powerful debuff. Unfortunately, casting something like fear or hypnotic pattern will likely allow you to impose conditions on more enemies, for less action economy, for a lower spell slot.
  • Globe of Invulnerability: Block all spells 5th level and lower in a 10-foot radius around your spellcaster. This spell can get really helpful as you start to face more enemies casting spells.
  • 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: Amazing charm effect. 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.
  • Move Earth: Not very helpful unless you're trying to live out a Minecraft fantasy.
  • 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 spellcasting modifier and allows you to attack twice, you will rarely use these features as a unless your a martial spellcaster.
  • 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

  • Crown of Stars: Great bonus action damage, long duration, no concentration. Up and down a great spell.
  • Delayed Blast Fireball: Seeing as you can end concentration at any time this is essentially a 7th-level fireball with upsides. If you're able to time enemies entering the radius exactly 1 minute after you cast it, the resulting damage would be massive for a 7th-level spell. Most of the time, you'll be detonating this with a d6 or two extra damage.
  • 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 huge 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: As long as the target has less than 100hp, they don't get to make a save to resist the effect. This makes it a decent choice when targeting a creature with Legendary Resistance. The debuff is quite potent, it provides disadvantage on attacks, ability checks, and saving throws, and casting spells becomes more difficult. Unfortunately, the effect can be ended with a successful CON saving throw so there's a good chance the effect only lasts one round. For a 7th-level spell, this is rarely worth it.
  • 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: Super cool and effective. The only way a creature can avoid the effect is by succeeding on a DEX saving throw, but even then they only grab onto a fixed object to avoid falling up. Besides flying creatures, most will have a tough time escaping this.
  • 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: Huge range, good AoE, and a very potent battlefield control effect. If you can catch multiple enemies in this, you can get really good turn-over-turn damage as well as an Restrained effect.

8th level

  • 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. If you manage to dominate one of your enemies, you're 2-for-1ing the opponent by adding an ally to your side while subtracting an enemy from your enemy's side.
  • 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 debuff. Great AoE that is somewhat limited by forcing a CON save.

9th level

  • Blade of Disaster: This is a solid, bonus action, multiturn damage spell that can pay off big time with a couple of crits.
  • Gate: Helps you move to another plane of existence, which you can hopefully already do by 18th-level. The feature which allows you to summon a creature from another plane can be extremely hit-or-miss because you don't gain any control over the creature. Be careful of what kind of cosmic horror you might accidentally unleash upon your world…
  • Mass Polymorph: Take up to 10 creatures out of the fight or turn your entire party into T-rexes.
  • Meteor Swarm: Nuke your enemies from orbit 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), stuns on a failed save, and explodes your targets head if they die from the damage.
  • 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 seeing as it doesn't require concentration.
  • Wish: Wish is the best 5e spell, 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 hit points 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

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.

17 thoughts on “Sorcerer

  1. Is Meteor Swarm really that good? Its fire and bludgeoning damage for a ninth level spell. I think if you are high enough level to cast that spell, you should expect your opponent to have at least resistance to both damage types.

    1. Meteor Swarm is probably the best spell in terms of AoE damage available. Certainly resistances can be an issue. But if you’re trying to cover a large area, or even take out a bunch of buildings, this spell does wonders!

  2. Perhaps it could be noted that Subtle Spell can be used to circumvent Counterspell, to cast spells while staying hidden, and to allow you to cast spells when bound and gagged. Specifically useful for those who want to play a more clandestine shadow sorcerer, a wild magic sorcerer with a penchant for trouble with the guards , or a sorcerer who wants tot test their might in a mages duel.

  3. Will you guys ever do guides based on different subclasses of Sorcerer? your guide was really helpful for my Eldritch knight and I was hoping to find something for Storm Sorcerers.

    1. Yes absolutely! We are currently working on revamping all of our class guides, and subclass guides will be a part of that 🙂

  4. I think you’ve underrated Dragon’s Breath. It’s a buff far better cast on a familiar or friendly summoned animal that has an ineffectual or non-existent attack. Giving the wizard’s owl or Warlock’s Imp a flamethrower seems better than your rating would suggest, at least in a longer fight. Properly used, it’s a buff to the party’s action economy with an AoE in a flexible damage type.

  5. Question: if I’m playing aDivine soul sorcerer and I multi class as a cleric, could I also count the spells I get from Cleric Class as Sorcerer spells and use my charisma spell modifier? I’m planning on multiclassing anyway one level because I like being able to add five more spells to my list with just one level and gaining ritual casting to boot, but I wanted to see how much benefit I would get.

    1. Unfortunately, you’d have to cast your cleric spells with your WIS modifier. This isn’t a huge deal if you stick to spells that don’t require your WIS modifier (bless is a great choice here).

      1. Thanks. I’ll think with that when picking those spells. The other thing I like about the multiclassing to cleric is that I have at least 3 spells that I can switch out every long rest which will give more versatility, even if they’ll only be level one spells ):

  6. Sorry, one last question regarding my multiclassing idea, the PHB doesn’t specify how Cantrip relate to multiclassing. Do I just get 3 extra Cleric Cantrip son top of my 4 Sorcerer Cantrips?

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