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5e Sorcerer versus Wizard, which is better?

Ashrym

Explorer
What other good synergies are there?
Quickened healing spells for healing in combat beyond healing / mass healing word, or quickened buffs while still popping off a cantrip. Going divine soul opens up the options for spells to select quite a bit and quicken is nice for a lot of spells. And like you said, the list of touch spells improves a lot.

A quickened heal and still twinning a firebolt can make the cleric and wizard both jealous. ;-)

It's still hard to select the spells. Compare that to dipping a level of cleric for all the 1st level cleric abilities that come with the MC.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
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 have more non-concentration spells than your sorcerer. I'll be fine.

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.
And I would love to point out that when you do that then you have given up your only advantage over the wizard. On days where you turn sorcery points into spell slots instead of using metamagic - the wizard is flat out better on those days.

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.
This whole paragraph makes no sense. I don't have mage armor. You don't have a subclass picked. What the heck are you talking about?

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. ;-)
Yes and that obviously a terrible use of the mechanic.

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. ;-)
I think you misunderstood me. There's nothing wrong with your chosen spells. I was explaining why I didn't deviate much from your list and why I choose the additional spells I chose.

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.
All I was saying was that if you took (the better) hypnotic pattern instead of fireball (good all around) then you had no direct damage spell. That's the limitation I was talking about.

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.
Looks to me like it was.

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.
It's funny to me that you tout the benefits of extra cantrips but when it comes to extra spells prepared/known you say it's not that big a deal.

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. ;-)
Maybe. You can't twin it though, you don't have the spell. Remember, we are doing a concrete example for that reason.

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. ;-)
Suggestion for control only works on things that understand you. A lot of enemies won't understand you. The ones that do, the wizard has suggestion. The ones that don't can be levitated.

Twin is good with suggestion though.

You also mentioned death is the best but for a lot of the brute style enemies you don't have 2nd or 1st level slots that really help kill it faster.

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.
Nice to fit in and not crucial defines pretty much every spell. It's universally true no matter which spell or caster we are talking about. It's a true statement that conveys no new, interesting or useful information.

Moving 30 ft away from something means it can still attack you if desired. That's a risk. Misty step in combat fully alievates that risk.

Being able to cast a spell and get around out of combat obstacles is the strongest out of combat feature of any caster.

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.
It's not about doing things the non-magical way. Sometimes you don't have a good non-magical path to get where you want to be when you need to be there without magic.

I think you saying the following is quite illustrative: "That's a trade-off with which I can live for the option of busting in with a quickened fireball and twinned firebolt." You care more about raw damage and combat power, which is fine. The sorcerer does that a bit better. The wizard is no slouch though and gets a lot more out of combat options. What the wizard lacks in raw power he makes up for in being more likely to have the perfect spell for his given combat situation. See my comments on levitate vs suggestion. Hypnotic pattern vs fireball etc.

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. ;-)
1. I don't need fireball
2. There's a few spells that have a highly specific purpose whose purpose may be forshadowed or rested for after finding the need for the spell. Examples: Tongues, invisibility, counterspell, see invisibility, locate object, knock, arcane lock. I personally hold general purpose rituals in higher esteem than being able to swap for these spells. So I wouldn't make the spell swap argument. As I said before, I'm very much into concrete examples instead of this inconsistent discussion where we pretend all options for our favored class are equally available when they are not.

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.
But if you bring draconic sorcerer in, don't I get to bring in bladesinger? Doesn't he have equal or better defensive options? If we are talking level 14+, wizard subclasses get some amazing stuff by those levels as well.

Magic Missile helps make up the damage gap when you twin haste. It also is what set up hypnotic pattern to be the better spell for my wizard. It was needed IMO. I could have dropped levitate or misty step for absorb elements or mage armor. Heck, if I wanted to be more defensive I could have taken them both. I don't think a more defensive wizard beats a more offensive sorcerer though.
 
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gyor

Adventurer
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.
Chromatic Orb can also be twinned, but Chaos Bolt can't be because of the chaining effect. I'd only take Chaos bolt as a Wild Sorcerer for flavour.
 

gyor

Adventurer
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?
Extended Conjure Celestial, because Coualts are insanely useful, they can shape shift into any 4CR humaniods or animals, have a ton of utility spells, so of which can be cast at will, true sight, telepathy, they can read any language, can be used as flying mounts, can constrict in their nature form, have a poison bite in any form that has a bite attack, have some skills, and more.

Extended Bless not only heals, but boost the HP Maxim of of three allies for 16 hours.

Twin True Resurrection can bring any two creatures back to life, no body required.

Twin Guided Bolt does good damage, but also sets up two targets to get hit.

Sublte Geas allows you to cast Geas/Planar Binding on a target without them knowing it.

Sublte Ceremony can allow you to marry two people without them knowing it, which is mot useful, but pretty funny.

Extended Spiritual Guardians amples up the potential damage SG does as it's deal damage every round it's in effect to targets.

Distance Temple of the Gods allows you to create a Temple further away.

Subtle Animate Dead allows you to really screw with someone funeral without anyone knowing it was you.
 

Ashrym

Explorer
Chromatic Orb can also be twinned, but Chaos Bolt can't be because of the chaining effect. I'd only take Chaos bolt as a Wild Sorcerer for flavour.
True that it cannot be twinned but empowering it increases the chance to proc a secondary target in addition to increasing the base damage, and increases the chance of a desired damage type if it matters, and increases single target damage over twin regardless. There is quite a bit of synergy with empower and chaos bolt.

We talk about how good twin is but people tend to forget it's also expensive in sorc points as the spell level increases and requires the twin be applied to a separate target.

I find it's the non-damage spells that make twin so good. Empower is a decent damage boost for non-twinned spells and can be stacked with other meta-magic. The quickened fireball + twinned firebolt example looks even better with some empower.

I tend to go with twin, quicken, heighten, and empower to top it off.

Not that it matters that much. Chaos bolt is more about the fun and flavor, and avoiding the material component cost.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Extended Conjure Celestial, because Coualts are insanely useful, they can shape shift into any 4CR humaniods or animals, have a ton of utility spells, so of which can be cast at will, true sight, telepathy, they can read any language, can be used as flying mounts, can constrict in their nature form, have a poison bite in any form that has a bite attack, have some skills, and more.

Extended Bless not only heals, but boost the HP Maxim of of three allies for 16 hours.

Twin True Resurrection can bring any two creatures back to life, no body required.

Twin Guided Bolt does good damage, but also sets up two targets to get hit.

Sublte Geas allows you to cast Geas/Planar Binding on a target without them knowing it.

Sublte Ceremony can allow you to marry two people without them knowing it, which is mot useful, but pretty funny.

Extended Spiritual Guardians amples up the potential damage SG does as it's deal damage every round it's in effect to targets.

Distance Temple of the Gods allows you to create a Temple further away.

Subtle Animate Dead allows you to really screw with someone funeral without anyone knowing it was you.
The only combo's you cite I think would be useful would be worth using would be twin guided bolt and extended conjure celestial
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Anyways, the typical 5e wizard vs sorcerer comparison boils down to: a little more combat power and possibly a highly specialized trick vs a little more in combat versatility and alot more out of combat versatility.

I don't think there's a wrong answer here. From my experience I've played both and I much prefer Wizards in actual play. I suppose a very high level sorcerer might feel a lot better, but through most of tier 1 and tier 2 the wizard feels better IMO (limited sorcery points are a huge limitation).

I will say this though. I played a mostly out of combat sorcerer with subtle spell and suggestion and other out of combat goodies. I mostly used firebolt in combat (I think I had fireball as well but rarely used it). That character felt good to me. If I was to play a sorcerer again I'd play it more like that than like the typical char-op versions that take a bunch of combat spells and metamagics. Twin and subtle with either actor or the ritual caster feat.
 

DM-Rocco

Explorer
Anyways, the typical 5e wizard vs sorcerer comparison boils down to: a little more combat power and possibly a highly specialized trick vs a little more in combat versatility and alot more out of combat versatility.

I don't think there's a wrong answer here. From my experience I've played both and I much prefer Wizards in actual play. I suppose a very high level sorcerer might feel a lot better, but through most of tier 1 and tier 2 the wizard feels better IMO (limited sorcery points are a huge limitation).

I will say this though. I played a mostly out of combat sorcerer with subtle spell and suggestion and other out of combat goodies. I mostly used firebolt in combat (I think I had fireball as well but rarely used it). That character felt good to me. If I was to play a sorcerer again I'd play it more like that than like the typical char-op versions that take a bunch of combat spells and metamagics. Twin and subtle with either actor or the ritual caster feat.
True, but sometimes the out of combat stuff eliminates 90% of combat, like Arcane Eye. That spell alone destroys dungeons.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
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).
All Youve done is show variant human is better than a level rip to pick up 2 similar abilities
 

Esker

Exploree
All Youve done is show variant human is better than a level rip to pick up 2 similar abilities
I don't think the argument is dependent on picking variant human for race. Even if the sorcerer dip character goes high elf, say, to ease the pain of getting 13 CHA (since they don't value war caster as much), then they get two extra points to allocate, which could be used to get WIS back to 10, or to get CHA to 14, but it's not enough to get CON to 14. And then they're worse than the War Caster wizard at concentration at lower levels.

If the single classed wizard doesn't take War Caster at 1st, they obviously have a slightly tougher time than the sorcerer with concentration saves until they can get it, but only a difference of +1 in Tier 1. They could choose to take it at 4th, putting them a little behind the sorcerer dip in spell DC, but they have higher level spells at every odd level. I'd take that trade.
 

DM-Rocco

Explorer
Thank you everyone for your input. I have enough information to be dangerous. I still don't know if I want to go Divination or Lore Mater, but it will be a Wizard. Thanks again.
 

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