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The Yellow Wizard » The Bar » Bloggards » Top Sorcerer/Wizard Spells

Top Sorcerer/Wizard Spells

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Great Adventurer
Great Adventurer
For both my own reference and ultimately yours as well, I'm going to go through a lot of the spells around in the sorcerer/wizard spell list and pick out the choice ones. I'll give an explanation as to why they're so good as well.

0th level spells:

Detect Magic: It's a magic based game, largely. Of course you take it.
Read magic: As above. It's not strictly necessary, but it literally saves you an hour every time you use it.
Prestidigitation: Does basically all the minor stuff you want. Heat food, wash the dishes, make tiny things, you name it.
Light: It's always nifty, and saves you a hand. Dancing lights is better in some ways (since you can move it without moving yourself), but it doesn't last as long, so you'll need to recast it a lot.

1st level spells:

Shield: Very nice protection. Better at later levels due to its short duration
Snowball and Ear-piercing Scream: The best single-target spells of this level.
Heightened awareness: Going first is always cool. Better at later levels when you can spare the spells. Or better yet, on a wand.
Sleep: At low levels, this spell is a save or die, and can win encounters by itself.
Silent Image: Excellent at all levels. Even if you don't concentrate, it's enough to get things to either move or waste their turn, usually.
Blood Money: Horribly, horribly powerful. At higher levels. Don't even look at it until you have 3rd level spells.
Magic Missile: Automatic, long range damage that works against basically everything (even ghosts)
Burning Hands: The only area damage spell of this level
Infernal Healing: It's a pretty decent healing mechanism. Make a wand of it.

2nd Level spells:

Glitterdust: Both anti-invisibility and blinding on the same spell.
Stone Call: Large area, good range and makes difficult terrain (plus some tiny damage with no save)
Web: Makes better difficult terrain than stone call and longer duration, but much smaller area
Invisibility: Name says it all
Mirror Image: Effectively, immunity to a bunch of physical attacks. You should have this up as often as you can manage.
False Life: Extra HP for ages.

3rd level spells:

Dispel Magic: Gets rid of magic. Any magic.
Magic Circles: Provides long lasting immunity to mental control to people around you, as well as limited protection. Keep it up all the time, if possible.
Stinking Cloud: Block vision and make people useless for a while afterwards. Makes nice combos with some other spells (particularly those that slow them down so they can't get out of it easily, or Black Tentacles so they get stuck)
Arcane Sight: Like detect magic, but you don't need to concentrate. Nice permanencied.
Tongues: Speak and understand any language, which is useful largely for social interactions.
Heroism: +2 to attack, saves, skills and ability checks for a good while. Your fighters should have this up constantly.
Suggestion: This is the first spell that effectively kills someone if they fail their save. Sometimes even more, depending on what you think you can get away with.
Fireball: Classic, large area damage.
Contingent Action: I personally like this one, but it does have a long cast time and short duration, so it's better at higher levels when you have time to buff beforehand, since it's basically a free action. Try something like 'When fighter is next to caster who starts casting, hit them'.
Haste: Have martial characters? They'll love you.
Paragon Surge: Sadly half-elf only, but it's great. Pick a feat and get it.
Excruciating deformation: Lots of damage over a period. Saves once per round, but it's only to resist it for a round.

4th level spells:

Dimensional Anchor: Now stuff can start teleporting, it's nifty to have something to stop that happening.
Black Tentacles: Mostly good vs casters since it can usually make them useless. Sometimes stops melee characters too.
Dimension Door: Quick and easy escape route. Bring friends.
Charm Monster: Make anything your friend for several days. Much, much better than its 1st level equivalent.
Confusion: Make a large group of monsters useless and hurt each other.
Telekinetic Charge: Move your friends around to get some nice positioning, and also give them an attack.
Fear: Make lots of enemies run away.
Enervation: Weakens enemies substantially on a touch attack. Tasty on a wand.
Animate Dead: Have little pets to play with forever (unless they're destroyed)

5th Level Spells:

Dismissal: Effectively kill an outsider.
Dominate person: Control someone completely for several days
Cloudkill: Kill weak creatures or cause ongoing large ongoing damage in an area.
Feeblemind: Make most casters permanently useless, or otherwise just make people useless and sort of a pet.
Telekinesis: Multipurpose control/utility spell
[url=Permanency]Permanency[/url]: Pay money to make some spells permanent (such as detect magic)
Wall of Force: Make a practically indestructible wall for a short time

6th level spells:

Greater Dispel Magic: Like dispel magic, but better
Planar Binding: Get a pet outsider (terms and conditions apply)
True Seeing: Become immune to most illusions and can see through polymorphs.
Cold Ice Strike: Swift action damage spell in a line
Disintegrate: Deal massive damage on a failed save.
Contingency: When conditions are met, trigger another spell

7th level spells

Spell Turning: Bounce spells back on their caster
Waves of Exhaustion: make martials useless with no save
Limited Wish: Duplicate spells of lower levels

8th level spells

Wall of Lava: Massive, non-scaling damage with no SR
Prismatic Wall: Tough to remove wall that requires up to 7 saves to pass through it (each one becomes nastier than the last) as well as being excellent protection
Demand: Suggestion with unlimited range. Annoy people across the cosmos!
Irresistable Dance Make someone useless for at least one round, even on a successful save
Clone: Cheap precaution vs death.

9th level spells

Disjunction: Shreds all magic in a burst. Popular leading spell for all fights at this level
Aroden's Spellbane: Stops specific spells from functioning (a favourite is disjunction :P)
Excellent Enclosure: Traps a creature in a practicalyl indestructible cage... and also antimagic field. With no save.
Wail of the Banshee: Deal massive damage in a wide area
Time Stop: Get a few turns by yourself to do stuff
Wish: Does basically anything you want.

Things to consider

Most damage spells aren't especially good at higher levels; use metamagics on lower level ones instead.
Time Stop works best with extend spell. Also consider Delayed Blast Fireball
Some spells with expensive material components (such as stoneskin) look not that great... until blood money comes in. I haven't included such spells in the list because blood money isn't always available (because it's banned, as it probably should be).

If there's anything obvious I've missed, add it in below =3

Last edited by Quark on Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:42 am; edited 2 times in total

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The Black Vegetable

Post on Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:29 pm by The Black Vegetable

With a few exceptions (I'm looking at you Power word: kill) most 8th and 9th level spells fit the bill of amazingly powerful magic. Once a player gets these, they don't need a guide about which one's best.


Post on Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:42 pm by Quark

Having thought about it, I did end up including some 8th and 9th level spells. Interestingly, I really notice that Abjuration becomes a very strong school later in the game. I was almost tempted to include Banishing Blade as well since it's a nifty little dual-purpose spell.

Also, if there are any new spell lists you'd like me to go through I'll do them next. Probably Psychic, since there are some awesome things in there.

The Black Vegetable

Post on Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:42 pm by The Black Vegetable

I could definitely do with a better understanding of the psychic spell list if that's ok.
I don't think it's likely I'll be playing any psychics any time soon but it'd be nice to know what my options would be.

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