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5e Sorcerer versus Wizard, which is better?

Esker

Exploree
I didn't read it whole (just first 20 and last 10 posts) What about 3 lvl sorc (CHA only 13 for taking MC) for metamagic and Wizard X (with max INT)? MC spell slots remain same, so in 20 lvl you have access to 9th spellslots and spells too. And "at will" transfering spellslots need more higher slots? sacrifice lower and vice versa.
I kind of decided sometime after the first 20 posts to focus on Wizard to cast spells not available to the Sorcerer and to get them earlier I decided not to multiclass, but that is not a bad idea, thanks for the input.
I dunno, your SP are based on sorcerer level, so you're pretty limited in what you can do with just 3 per day, and the price is really high: 3 levels behind in getting the next spell level, 3 levels behind in ASIs, and you have to sacrifice your DEX and CON to get your CHA up high enough to qualify. Maybe there are some very specific builds where it could make sense (though I'm struggling to think of any) but for a typical wizard it sounds like a terrible idea.

Even if you're taking the sorcerer levels after 17th so your spell progression isn't delayed, is 3 sp/day worth of metamagic at 20th worth giving up Signature Spells for 3 levels?

Fighter 1 is probably a better way to get CON saves without a feat, since you also get a ton of AC out of it and want DEX anyway.
 

Ashrym

Explorer
Getting to third level in warlock grants basically the same benefit. Two - second level slots you can turn into 4 sorcery points every short rest. Plus some nice stuff like two invocations, more spells known, and a magical weapon, a pet or rituals
It does but it also costs in high level spell slots, the 18th level subclass ability, and slows down progression.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
I find both your arguing amusing, but I side with Mistwell on this...plus, this doesn't say it is a list of all players in the game. It lists who takes feats, and I assume that is who takes feats versus stat increases out of those that take or play with feats. Otherwise, the numbers would be the same for each category.
If that chart was showing “of the characters that use feats these are the levels they have a feat by”, then you would see level 20 showing 100%. It’s no where near that.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen... Be nice plz n_n
It does but it also costs in high level spell slots, the 18th level subclass ability, and slows down progression.
On the slow down, granted. But the meaningful spell progression stops at 17th, and most of the subclasses 18th level ability isn't that great -except for storm-. And it comes to whether one considers the sorcerer capstone worth it. If it is, then how having it 13 levels early is not worth it?
 

Ashrym

Explorer
On the slow down, granted. But the meaningful spell progression stops at 17th, and most of the subclasses 18th level ability isn't that great -except for storm-. And it comes to whether one considers the sorcerer capstone worth it. If it is, then how having it 13 levels early is not worth it?
It's a 5th, 6th, and 7th level slot. And no 9th level slots until 20th level. The slow down hurts and I don't think draconic presence is bad.

3 warlock levels isn't a bad way to go but it is still a trade-off.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Cantrips: Firebolt, Mage Hand, Sword Burst, Minor Illusion, Infestation

1st level: Shield, Sleep
2nd level: Alter Self, Suggestion
3rd level: Fireball, Haste

Meta-magic: twinned spell, quickened spell

Sorc points: 6
BTW, you are level 5 and so you only have 5 Sorc Points.

Cantrips: Firebolt, Mage Hand, Minor Illusion, Light

1st level: Shield, Sleep, Magic Missile
2nd level: Alter Self, Suggestion, Levitate, Misty Step
3rd level: Hypnotic Pattern, Haste

Arcane Recovery: Up to 3 levels worth of spells

Some reasoning behind the choices:

1. The spells that I left the same as your sorcerer choices I couldn't find a good justification for changing. There just wasn't another spell that could produce similar results in many situations.

2. I think hypnotic pattern is better than fireball in most aoe situations, especially on a wizard. On a sorcerer fireball is a little more general purpose and so makes sense IMO. So I'm not faulting your choice, I'm just pointing out the added spells allowed me to configure them such that I still had decent direct damage when needed and also a slightly better aoe spell IMO.

(The new additions)
3. Magic Missile. This is the only additional pure combat spell out of the bunch. I literally took it so that I wouldn't be so far behind in damage when you twinned haste. I can use magic missiles to make up some of the difference. I still don't reach the same single target damage potential, but I get much closer with this.

4. Levitate. Good control spell for single target enemies without ranged attacks, single save. Also helps in exploration phase as it allows party to easily bypass some obstacles. For example, it can allow a rogue to get over the castles wall to do a scouting mission.

5. Misty Step. Teleportation is always nice in exploration phases. The ability to teleport in combat as a bonus action is great too. You can put some serious distance between yourself and the enemy with this spell and a dash action when needed.

My conclusion: Your sorcerer is good. He reigns supreme when it comes to single target damage for a caster. However, he lacks defensive abilities to get away from enemies when needed. He lacks the extra control of levitate. The out of combat utility of levitate and misty step. It's hard for him to justify taking one of the best control spells in the game, hypnotic pattern as the choice would leave him with no direct damage spells.

In summary it comes down to what you value more. More utility or more damage.

Not included in the above analysis: The wizard also has 2 additional things going for him that the sorcerer doesn't

1. The wizard knows a total of 14 spells. I've only chosen 9. The rest can easily be rituals. Rituals also add a lot of utility, which is why you've suggested the sorcerer take ritual caster. The downside to ritual caster is that it means you only have 2 rituals known vs the wizards 5. That's a lot more rituals. That's a lot more utility. IMO

2. The good wizard subclasses are generally better than the good sorcerer subclasses, at least through most of the game. IMO
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
It's a 5th, 6th, and 7th level slot. And no 9th level slots until 20th level. The slow down hurts and I don't think draconic presence is bad.

3 warlock levels isn't a bad way to go but it is still a trade-off.
Yep, slowing spell progression is bad generally bad. A single level dip can be argued for. 2 levels almost never can be argued for.

Personally if I'm a high level sorcerer and don't like my capstone, I'm looking to dip 2 levels of fighter for action surge. Casting twin haste and then shooting out a high damage fireball on turn 1 is a pretty awesome way to start any combat.

Alternatively it gives me 2 chances on turn 1 to get hold monster to work (both of which can be heightened is you take that metamagic)
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
I think the whole discussion of feats is a moot point. Because IF you use feats, the Wizard would get that same feat as well (Warcaster, Alert, Lucky, etc.). If you're needing to spend a feat just to get your class equal to the Wizard, then you're by definition still behind the Wizard, because they also got a Feat/ASI.

In addition, I don't even think it's common for Sorcerer players to choose the Ritual Caster feat, particularly not at first level as a human, but I don't have hard data to support that. It just doesn't seem like something I've heard anyone doing, either around here, at the WOTC boards before they closed, on Reddit boards, YouTube, etc.. Where is this idea even coming from that Sorcerer's typically choose variant human and select Ritual Caster as their one feat at that level?
I actually find wizards to be worse than sorcerers without feats. Missing out on good concentration saves is rough. Feats allow that to be fixed. Missing out on rituals sucks too, but generally not knowing rituals ain't goina get you killed.

*a few wizard subclasses boost concentration saves
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
I dunno, your SP are based on sorcerer level, so you're pretty limited in what you can do with just 3 per day, and the price is really high: 3 levels behind in getting the next spell level, 3 levels behind in ASIs, and you have to sacrifice your DEX and CON to get your CHA up high enough to qualify. Maybe there are some very specific builds where it could make sense (though I'm struggling to think of any) but for a typical wizard it sounds like a terrible idea.

Even if you're taking the sorcerer levels after 17th so your spell progression isn't delayed, is 3 sp/day worth of metamagic at 20th worth giving up Signature Spells for 3 levels?

Fighter 1 is probably a better way to get CON saves without a feat, since you also get a ton of AC out of it and want DEX anyway.
Actually, I'm rather liking the 3 level dip of sorcerer late game for a wizard. Heightened spell would be amazing. You have arcane recovery to get spells back. You could burn most all your level 3 slots for sorcery points for heightened and then get them back with arcane recovery.

I think it makes an excellent late game disadvantage to a save plan.

You could always start sorcerer 1 to get the con saves and whatever subclass benefit early. Then you can go wizard 18 and finish up with sorcerer levels.
 

DM-Rocco

Explorer
The CHR bonus to spells known or continuing the spells known progression. I haven't seen both and the spells known formula is more common because other spells known casters want stat bonus to known as well. Most of the time I've seen the DM specifically wants the sorc to learn more known. The basic progression is sorc level +1 until it's halved for the high tier and eliminated for epic tier. It doesn't break the class to simply continue with a spell for 21 spells known eventually.

To answer your question, magic initiate already exists and isn't a bad way to pick up another 1st level spell, more cantrips, and a free casting. In play test it was part of a chain where additional feats added a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level spell. I am not sure why it was dropped. Probably because it's expensive in feats costs to the point no one would ever spend 4 ASI's just for more spells known.

Magic initiate allow a spellcaster to use the spell learned using slots in addition to the free casting as long as it's from one of the classes to which the spellcaster accesses spells. So a sorc who takes magic initiate sorcerer gains a 1st level spell known, 1 freebie use of that spell, and 2 extra cantrips. The alternative would be taking a spell with a long duration from another list (like mage armor) and just using the freebie cast.

You would need to talk to your DM if all you want is more spells known. I wouldn't hesitate to allow a feat to grant a first level spell from any class to be known and use a choice of caster stat as in line with other feats and not stepping on the toes of magical secrets or other feats too much.

It's easier just to take even a single level of pretty much any class with spells, however; sorcs are pretty MC friendly. I like abusing the sorc capstone when I get into an epic game so I tend not to MC. The sorc capstone is a pretty good prep device. It's better than the wizard capstone, but the 18th level wizard ability is actually better than either, imo, so a definite consideration if you play to that tier. Spell mastery is a definite on the wizard list of pros.



Organized gameplay allows feats. It seems to be the default until the DM decides otherwise, and makes sense as to why it's included in the SRD and PHB instead of a section of the DMG. The statistics we were given demonstrated higher levels use feats (presumably because ASI's take priority) starting around 12th level but most players aren't that high so the majority of players were not shown to be using feats. Feats not being allowed as the reason is just an assumption that's disproven by the feats appearing at higher levels.

It's all speculation, however. ;-)
I'll clarify that. I have yet to see anyone play without feats. What I meant was that I side with Mistwell because the other guy's argument is absurd. It can't say "Optional Rule" and then be the norm, or it wouldn't be listed as an optional rule. I think he meant to say something like it is widely accepted as part of the rules, but his whole argument basically sounded like he didn't know what the meaning of the word "Optional" was.
 

DM-Rocco

Explorer
It's a 5th, 6th, and 7th level slot. And no 9th level slots until 20th level. The slow down hurts and I don't think draconic presence is bad.

3 warlock levels isn't a bad way to go but it is still a trade-off.
That's basically what I have right now and I hate it because I can't cast the higher level spells and because WOTC screwed this on multiclassing, you also don't the higher-level spell slots to power spells. Sure, if you just want to convert everything down the Eldritch blasts and DPS that way, it is perfect, but I want to cast something other than Eldritch blast, it gets boring.
 

gyor

Adventurer
Lol, so which is it? "Why are we talking about a feat" vs "Anything is open for discussion"?

It's open for discussion and we are talking about it. I was responding to someone who was talking about it. It seems kind of silly for you to question my continuing to discuss something already being discussed.

Feats are mentioned in the basic rules, the SRD, and the PHB. If they were meant to not be a standard they would have been in the DMG options instead. Unless the DM says no feats they are a typical option available to the players.

You were discussing them in this example from another thread. Hell, this thread you started last year opens with "I've enjoyed feats since 3e, and used them in every version since then."

It looks to me like you are trying to play the "but they are optional so not really there" card because you don't like the fact this feat reduces one of the wizard advantages. If you don't want to talk about the ritual caster feat for sorcerers that's fine. I will continue to discuss it because it's a valid option unless a DM chooses not to allow it.



I don't think insignificant is a word I've ever used. I've used "over-rated" many times and "rarely crucial" in this thread but not insignificant. Iirc I said sorcerer spells can be restrictive but it's not that hard to work around.

Also, a sorcerer cannot prepare any spells. Just sayin'. 🙃



Cantrips: Firebolt, Mage Hand, Sword Burst, Minor Illusion, Infestation

1st level: Shield, Sleep
2nd level: Alter Self, Suggestion
3rd level: Fireball, Haste

Meta-magic: twinned spell, quickened spell

Sorc points: 6
Up to 5th level scrolls can be purchased for ritual casters and the feat itself grant two 1st level.

For me my choice for spells as a Divine Soul Sorcerer,not including iyltsbonus cleric spell:

Cantrips: Firebolt, Minor Illusion, Guidiance, Control Flames

1st level spells: Chromatic Orb, Command
2nd Level Spells: Aid, Spirit Weapon
3rd Level: Animate Undead, Spirit Guardians.

Metamagic: Twin Spell, Extend Spell.
 

Esker

Exploree
Actually, I'm rather liking the 3 level dip of sorcerer late game for a wizard. Heightened spell would be amazing. You have arcane recovery to get spells back. You could burn most all your level 3 slots for sorcery points for heightened and then get them back with arcane recovery.

I think it makes an excellent late game disadvantage to a save plan.

You could always start sorcerer 1 to get the con saves and whatever subclass benefit early. Then you can go wizard 18 and finish up with sorcerer levels.
I keep forgetting about the ability to convert slots to sorcery points; that makes it less bad. I agree that at 20th that's a nice build, and sorcerer at either 1, 19 and 20 or just 18-20 is when I'd take those levels (CON saves and more cantrips is nice, but it would still hurt to get every spell level a level late; and wizards aren't usually so feat-hungry that they can't afford Resilient CON at some point). The 18th level wizard ability is really good (infinite shield and misty step), so even though at 20th I'd love to be Wizard 17 / Sorcerer 3, you're taking a definite hit at 18th and 19th by doing this.
 

delph

Villager
Actually, I'm rather liking the 3 level dip of sorcerer late game for a wizard. Heightened spell would be amazing. You have arcane recovery to get spells back. You could burn most all your level 3 slots for sorcery points for heightened and then get them back with arcane recovery.

I think it makes an excellent late game disadvantage to a save plan.

You could always start sorcerer 1 to get the con saves and whatever subclass benefit early. Then you can go wizard 18 and finish up with sorcerer levels.
Yep, you can mix it as you wish. And yes, you lost 1 Asi, but get metamagic...
 

Esker

Exploree
To make it more concrete, here are two characters, built with point buy.

Character A: Variant Human (War Caster) Wizard X

STR 8, DEX 15+1, CON 14, INT 15+1, WIS 10, CHA 8

Character B: Variant Human (War Caster) Sorcerer 1 / Wizard X

STR 8, DEX 15+1, CON 12, INT 15+1, WIS 8, CHA 13

In order to get your CHA up you're giving back a point of your CON save bonus, plus you give up HP, WIS save proficiency, a point of WIS, and delay your spell progression. If you go Draconic you get always-on Mage Armor, which is nice, and you'll have a crapload of cantrips, which is fun. But it just seems worse to me (assuming feats are allowed, which I agree should in practice be the default context despite the fact that it's technically an optional rule).
 

delph

Villager
To make it more concrete, here are two characters, built with point buy.

Character A: Variant Human (War Caster) Wizard X

STR 8, DEX 15+1, CON 14, INT 15+1, WIS 10, CHA 8

Character B: Variant Human (War Caster) Sorcerer 1 / Wizard X

STR 8, DEX 15+1, CON 12, INT 15+1, WIS 8, CHA 13

In order to get your CHA up you're giving back a point of your CON save bonus, plus you give up HP, WIS save proficiency, a point of WIS, and delay your spell progression. If you go Draconic you get always-on Mage Armor, which is nice, and you'll have a crapload of cantrips, which is fun. But it just seems worse to me (assuming feats are allowed, which I agree should in practice be the default context despite the fact that it's technically an optional rule).
lost WIS is painful, but CON 14 vs CON12 + proficiency is better from start. Loosing 1 HP per level isn't so much to make a difference. Or loosing spellmastery, but can probably very easy replace with metamagic (never meet battle on higher levels where i need really every slot I have).

but it's on player style and character and we can talk about it forever.
 

Esker

Exploree
lost WIS is painful, but CON 14 vs CON12 + proficiency is better from start. Loosing 1 HP per level isn't so much to make a difference. Or loosing spellmastery, but can probably very easy replace with metamagic (never meet battle on higher levels where i need really every slot I have).

but it's on player style and character and we can talk about it forever.
If it were just the CON I'd take the trade, but the biggest thing is the delay in spell levels. The benefit of a dip has to be a really clear win to make that worthwhile. Even if you weren't giving up HP or WIS saves, getting +1 to CON saves for levels 1-4, +2 for levels 5-8 is not worth spending level 5 with no 3rd level spells, or level 7 with no 4th, etc. It's not worth much to be better at holding your concentration if you can't cast the spell you want to be concentrating on in the first place.
 

Ashrym

Explorer
BTW, you are level 5 and so you only have 5 Sorc Points.
Lol, that's kind of funny. I was thinking through slot / point trade options that I didn't included in the post and that was part of one of them that I missed on my lack of proof read.

Cantrips: Firebolt, Mage Hand, Minor Illusion, Light

1st level: Shield, Sleep, Magic Missile
2nd level: Alter Self, Suggestion, Levitate, Misty Step
3rd level: Hypnotic Pattern, Haste

Arcane Recovery: Up to 3 levels worth of spells
It's a pretty typical list and I was a bit torn between hypnotic pattern and fireball, tbh, but fireball is more universal in the end.

What I don't like about your list is too many concentration spells. Alter self, suggestion, levitate, hypnotic pattern, and haste all take up the concentration slot. In the cases of alter self and suggestions the durations also interfere with ritual casting opportunities. They are all good spells but they can interfere with one another.

I would also point out the sorcerer points can create spell slots to match the arcane recovery without the need to take a short rest. 5 sorc point creates either a 1st and 2nd level slot, or a 3rd level slot. It's the less likely use of points over meta-magic but the option exists.

That's what I was thinking when I posted the 6 sorc points because the sorcerer argument against arcane recovery is spending the 5 points on a 3rd level spell slot without a rest, popping off a 1st level slot for a sorc point and that would match the slot the wizard spends on armor. That would leave the sorcerer with the same spells cast as the wizard and still have 1 point for a twinned cantrip. It was something I chose to leave out at the time.

The sorcerer can cast more spells per day than the wizard can even with arcane recovery by swapping the high level slots for more low level slots, but that's used about as often as action surge for something other than attacking, IME. It's also an argument destroyed by spell mastery later, lol, so you might see why I chose not to push that argument too far. ;-)

1. The spells that I left the same as your sorcerer choices I couldn't find a good justification for changing. There just wasn't another spell that could produce similar results in many situations.
That and they are decent spells, lol. Having less spells from which to choose is definitely a drawback but that doesn't make the spells on the list sorcerers can choose poor by comparison. ;-)

2. I think hypnotic pattern is better than fireball in most aoe situations, especially on a wizard. On a sorcerer fireball is a little more general purpose and so makes sense IMO. So I'm not faulting your choice, I'm just pointing out the added spells allowed me to configure them such that I still had decent direct damage when needed and also a slightly better aoe spell IMO.
I can't fault either as a choice. The challenge I found with wizards is in knowing that I would be better off with one over the other in the first place. Sometimes the information is there, sometimes it's not. In the end, however, it doesn't turn out crucial. I can cast fireball, or sleep, or suggestion instead; or spam firebolts. Options the wizard has didn't take away having options for the sorc.

I want to be clear here. Spell prep and more spells known is an advantage. I don't believe it's as big of an advantage as it appears based on posts I see sometimes.

(The new additions)
3. Magic Missile. This is the only additional pure combat spell out of the bunch. I literally took it so that I wouldn't be so far behind in damage when you twinned haste. I can use magic missiles to make up some of the difference. I still don't reach the same single target damage potential, but I get much closer with this.
It's also nice to have a force damage back up. In the end it's still another damage, and I went with a different cantrip for alternative damage that includes forced movement. The bonus cantrip over wizards at first level is something I find as under-rated. It doesn't matter in higher levels but it's nice at low levels.

4. Levitate. Good control spell for single target enemies without ranged attacks, single save. Also helps in exploration phase as it allows party to easily bypass some obstacles. For example, it can allow a rogue to get over the castles wall to do a scouting mission.
The rogue can climb over the wall with a climber kit, with advantage via the help action. Or a team can group check it. It's still a nice spell, so imagine if you could twin it. ;-)

The alternatives from my list would be to use suggestion (also viable control and can be twinned) or outright killing. Death is still the best condition to apply. ;-)

5. Misty Step. Teleportation is always nice in exploration phases. The ability to teleport in combat as a bonus action is great too. You can put some serious distance between yourself and the enemy with this spell and a dash action when needed.
Nice to fit in and again not crucial. I have to live with disengage and move in combat, but I can apply haste to help if needed. Out of combat exploration it's true I have to still climb or what not that everyone else in the party has to do, but that's not something that really turns into an issue.

My conclusion: Your sorcerer is good. He reigns supreme when it comes to single target damage for a caster. However, he lacks defensive abilities to get away from enemies when needed. He lacks the extra control of levitate. The out of combat utility of levitate and misty step. It's hard for him to justify taking one of the best control spells in the game, hypnotic pattern as the choice would leave him with no direct damage spells.
Some things he does have to do the non-magical way. That's a trade-off with which I can live for the option of busting in with a quickened fireball and twinned firebolt.

1. The wizard knows a total of 14 spells. I've only chosen 9. The rest can easily be rituals. Rituals also add a lot of utility, which is why you've suggested the sorcerer take ritual caster. The downside to ritual caster is that it means you only have 2 rituals known vs the wizards 5. That's a lot more rituals. That's a lot more utility. IMO
I've suggested the sorcerer can take ritual caster. I don't actually do it myself. Usually someone else in the part has it and it's a duplication of abilities, and the "play with it during rests / downtime" option exists.

I would point out that if the rest are rituals, then the spell swapping stopped being a thing. A wizard cannot swap hypnotic pattern out for fireball if he's filled his spell book with rituals instead of fireball. ;-)

2. The good wizard subclasses are generally better than the good sorcerer subclasses, at least through most of the game. IMO
I don't disagree here. I think wizards get more out of their subclasses than sorcerers do. It's part of the trade off. Sorcerers can get flying for free later through subclasses which changes a lot of the exploration arguments above and I'm still a fan of draconic resilience giving more hit points and armor class without spending a slot on mage armor, something I noticed you didn't do in you wizard example that I would have done instead of taking magic missile.
 

Ashrym

Explorer
Up to 5th level scrolls can be purchased for ritual casters and the feat itself grant two 1st level.

For me my choice for spells as a Divine Soul Sorcerer,not including iyltsbonus cleric spell:

Cantrips: Firebolt, Minor Illusion, Guidiance, Control Flames

1st level spells: Chromatic Orb, Command
2nd Level Spells: Aid, Spirit Weapon
3rd Level: Animate Undead, Spirit Guardians.

Metamagic: Twin Spell, Extend Spell.
I prefer chaos bolt to chromatic orb. It's slightly less damage and the element type has less control but the range is better, there are damage types possible chromatic orb doesn't offer, the small chance of a second target give me the chance to roll more dice and that's always a plus :)D), it's an actual sorcerer exclusive spell (from XGE), and it's only VS -- no material component that can actually be a bit pricey at low levels.

Plus the randomness on the spell is fun. Chromatic orb is probably the better spell given more damage and control over the damage type, and the range usually isn't a concern.

Divine soul definitely gives options wizards don't get.
 

Esker

Exploree
Divine soul definitely gives options wizards don't get.
Divine soul is a subclass I'm interested in trying out, as I've never seen it played myself. There don't seem to be that many blockbuster cleric spells (that sorcerers don't already have on their list) to take major advantage of most metamagics... I guess at low levels there's twinning your basic heals / Lesser Restoration, or buffs like Shield of Faith or Protection from Good and Evil, Sanctuary. At high levels there's twinned Greater Restoration, Raise Dead, or Heal, which could be pretty good. It's tough to use your limited spells known on some of those though.

It feels like a subclass where I might take Distant Spell (which I wouldn't normally do), since Clerics seem to have more useful touch spells than sorcerers (Inflict Wounds or Revivify from range seems useful for a squish; similarly Contagion).

What other good synergies are there?
 

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