5e Sorcerer versus Wizard, which is better?

DM-Rocco

Explorer
Gnome is the way to go for wizard because of the Intelligence bonus (the Fatbeard in me still thinks gnomes should only be illusionists, but that's my problem). The +2 to Intelligence isn't huge, but over the course of an adventuring career (or even a few sessions) a +1 to hit on spell attacks and a 5% better chance of enemies failing their saves will add up.

Second place would be high elves with a +1 Int and +2 Sex (for AC). The extra cantrip also gives you some flexibility.

For feats I love Spell Sniper. You get a damage-dealing cantrip and double the range of all attack-roll spells and ignore 1/2 and 3/4 cover. The Lucky feat is also a great one. If you choose the Diviner subclass, the Portent ability can be fun for you and infuriating for the DM.
Ooo, I definitely want a +2 Sex bonus, lol :p.

I did look at the Gnome and I hate Gnomes, but that is my problem...still, a +2 INT bonus is nothing to dismiss...maybe a could be a really tall almost human-sized Gnome. :)

I was thinking variant human for the feat. The problem as I see it would then to be to add +1 to INT and have to waste a feat for a +1 to INT somewhere else. So if I went human I would consider taking Lucky or Alert (who doesn't love a +5 to initiative?) Then I would want to use Resilient to get the Dex to 20 and get proficiency on Dex saves and again on INT, but the saves bonus would be wasted so maybe Observant or something. Of course I could use the +1/+1 to two different ability scores, but then I don't get the cool save bonus.
 

DM-Rocco

Explorer
For feats, if focusing on battlefield control, you really want Alert as early as possible. If going debuffs with saves, probably just boost intelligence before taking any feats, but the usual recommendation of Resilient CON or a dip in fighter would be good (starting at 10th, I think I'd take Resilient over War Caster); Alert is good there, too, but can wait longer. And you may as well take Lucky at some point.

So unless you're specializing in spells without saving throws, you'll want 2x INT boost (assuming a race with at least a +1), Resilient CON, Alert, and Lucky, in some order. If you're going to pick spells that don't depend as much on INT, and/or you are going variant human, you could add War Caster to double up on concentration buffs. If you don't want to take 1st level in Fighter, you could go Hobgoblin so you qualify for Moderately Armored and can carry around a shield.

If the variant winged tiefling is on the table, take it and run. Or, I guess, fly.
I have to see if he'll go for the tiefling, that is on my list. I don't get hit a ton because I am rather good at positioning myself away from danger, or currently, I am using Darkness with devil sight to avoid danger, but that will change.
 

DM-Rocco

Explorer
Metamagic is good, ritual casting is good, how can I have both?

Oh, yeah, the Ritual Caster feat FTW!
I currently have one feat for the sorcerer I am playing and it is ritual caster. So worth it, but I think I'm going Wizard for the spell selection, just need to narrow it down to Diviner, Illusionist, Lore Master, evoker (although I am shying away from this) or Enchanter.
 

DM-Rocco

Explorer
If sorcerers get sorcery points on short rest mechanics we could have this debate.
Well, technically, right now I am playing a 2 Warlock/6 Sorcerer Drow Elf, so I can convert spell points into slots and gain limited Warlock spell slots back to convert into more sorcerer points, but the process is slow and the DM and party doesn't like to take short rests for some reason, frustrating.
 

Esker

Explorer
I currently have one feat for the sorcerer I am playing and it is ritual caster. So worth it, but I think I'm going Wizard for the spell selection, just need to narrow it down to Diviner, Illusionist, Lore Master, evoker (although I am shying away from this) or Enchanter.
If you don't want to specialize as much and just want a solid wizard that does a bit of everything, consider War Magic. It's one of those subclasses that is described in a way that doesn't really fit with what it's good for: Ignore Power Surge; it's crappy, but Tactical Wit, Durable Magic, and Arcane Deflection are mechanically really strong (not as much fun as Portent, but...). It's basically a free Alert feat that stacks with the Alert feat, a free Shield that stacks with Shield proficiency, and a free pseudo-Resilient CON that stacks with CON save proficiency.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Can you give us some criteria for what "better" means to you? Or at least what role of caster you plan on playing?

If you are doing a lot of buffing, Sorcerer's Twin Spell is exceedingly hard to beat. Two people under Greater Invisibility for instance.

If you are looking at flexibility the wizard being able to prepare daily and from a larger pool is unmatched.

If your party lacks healing or could use a backup healer, Divine Soul Sorcerer subclass from XGtE can give you what wizard can't.

If your DM throws enemy casters at you all the time and you want a survivable counterspeller, Abjuration Wizard has you covered.

Get attacked all the time and want to have a great AC and concentration? Bladesinger Wizard from SCAG.

Also, does your party need a face or does it need the various knowledge skills?

Really, what are you looking at doing / how do you want to fit into your party?
 

clearstream

Explorer
So, in your opinion, which is better for higher-level play, Wizard or Sorcerer?
Portent vs double Haste... it's not an easy call. If for instance you knew you would have a GWM melee and an SS ranged, the Haste would be ridiculous. If on the other hand you have multiple sources of SoS the Portent will be incredible. Or if your group takes a more attritional approach to rests, a Bladesinger could be amazing.

Overall though, I would probably go Divination Wizard. Deciding what a friend or foe rolls twice a day gives you terrific leverage over the narrative. An option is 2 levels of Wizard (for Diviner) and 8 in Sorcerer.
 

DM-Rocco

Explorer
If you don't want to specialize as much and just want a solid wizard that does a bit of everything, consider War Magic. It's one of those subclasses that is described in a way that doesn't really fit with what it's good for: Ignore Power Surge; it's crappy, but Tactical Wit, Durable Magic, and Arcane Deflection are mechanically really strong (not as much fun as Portent, but...). It's basically a free Alert feat that stacks with the Alert feat, a free Shield that stacks with Shield proficiency, and a free pseudo-Resilient CON that stacks with CON save proficiency.
I kind of dismissed this one because power surge is so crap, but I'll take another look.
 

DM-Rocco

Explorer
Can you give us some criteria for what "better" means to you? Or at least what role of caster you plan on playing?

If you are doing a lot of buffing, Sorcerer's Twin Spell is exceedingly hard to beat. Two people under Greater Invisibility for instance.

If you are looking at flexibility the wizard being able to prepare daily and from a larger pool is unmatched.

If your party lacks healing or could use a backup healer, Divine Soul Sorcerer subclass from XGtE can give you what wizard can't.

If your DM throws enemy casters at you all the time and you want a survivable counterspeller, Abjuration Wizard has you covered.

Get attacked all the time and want to have a great AC and concentration? Bladesinger Wizard from SCAG.

Also, does your party need a face or does it need the various knowledge skills?

Really, what are you looking at doing / how do you want to fit into your party?
Sure, okay, I don't want to be that guy that does all the party buffing. That's not fun. Sure, I don't mind making the Rogue invisible on occasion, but I don't want my only combat role to be buffing other party members...same goes for healing, not my cup of tea.

I do love options, which is why I think the Wizard is the way to go, although the original Divine Soul with Domain added spells would have be great!

The DM has thrown casters at us, but he usually goes with modules and a handful of counter spells is usually enough.

At this level I want to have fun and control combat and either do a crap ton of damage or cast spells that change the landscape of the battlefield in our favor...I also like being tricksey which is why I thought about illusionist, but I think the current DM would be pulling his hair out if I went that route and I don't want to be a total dick, just a partical dick :p
 

DM-Rocco

Explorer
Portent vs double Haste... it's not an easy call. If for instance you knew you would have a GWM melee and an SS ranged, the Haste would be ridiculous. If on the other hand you have multiple sources of SoS the Portent will be incredible. Or if your group takes a more attritional approach to rests, a Bladesinger could be amazing.

Overall though, I would probably go Divination Wizard. Deciding what a friend or foe rolls twice a day gives you terrific leverage over the narrative. An option is 2 levels of Wizard (for Diviner) and 8 in Sorcerer.
I am currently favoring the idea of Diviner or Lore Master so I can change spell damage into Radiant and increase the DCs of my spells, I like having high DCs...I like fun tricks though to, so right now I am open to ideas.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen... Be nice plz n_n
I am currently favoring the idea of Diviner or Lore Master so I can change spell damage into Radiant and increase the DCs of my spells, I like having high DCs...I like fun tricks though to, so right now I am open to ideas.
If your DM allows Lore Master, it is a no contest. Go with Wizard. Lore Master is that good.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
It really depends on what you want. I've broken it down below, based on my opinions and experiences. If you want a solid character that can do a lot in and out of combat, go with wizard. If you want to be a blaster or do some weird combo, sorcerer is your friend.

Wizard Advantages
Spell versatility (prepared spells vs. known spells)
Ritual versatility (cast unprepared rituals)
Spell variety (AFAIK, there isn't a single spell the sorcerer gets that wizard doesn't)

Wizard Disadvantages
Poor Sub-classes (most are fairly meh)
Poor Multi-classing (no other Int based casters, except Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster)

Sorcerer Advantages
Metamagic (spell improvements)
More spells per day (by giving up Meta-magic)
Sub-classes (Dragon using Fire magic is strong, and Wild Mage can be awesome if the DM uses the Wild Magic Surge and Tides of Chaos frequently, Divine Soul is amazing)
Better Multi-classing (Bard, Paladin, and Warlock all Cha casting)

Sorcerer Disadvantages
Spammer (limited spells used repeatedly)
No Rituals
 

aco175

Adventurer
I see a lot of good points here, but nobody asked about the rest of the party and what the others are playing. Not sure how much this may influence what you should build, but if there are more casters, than that may change what your role in the group. Same thing on style of play. If your group is combat focused over roleplay, that will change the way to look at the 2 classes.
 

Mort

Community Supporter
Yeah, Lore Master is very broken.

Of course, that's why I'd recommend staying away from it.

I just looked it over:

  • INT bonus to initiative (in place of Cha, but still);
  • substitute a damage type for another damage type;
  • substitute a saving throw for a different saving throw !?! Once per rest, but wow.

And those are just the 2nd level abilities.
 

Gadget

Explorer
See, you both make valid observations. I do like me some spell options, currently, I do have ritual caster feat for the sorcerer because I like having options. I know I can do some fun stuff with the sorcerer and I like the metamagic, but I find that the spells like Vampiric touch that I want to twin aren't on his spell list.

The meta magic is a strong, very strong, argument for the sorcerer, if I can find the right combination of spells to make me happy. The wizard though can have some good options too, like portent for the divinity arc or being able to cast any one spell from any spell list for the lore master, or even the lore masters ability to make any energy type into another (although I don't think monsters have weakness to certain elements like they did in past editions). Anyway, keep the feedback rolling please.
I know I'm somewhat late, but Loremaster is not a published sub-class for the Wizard; for good reason. It is very broken and was merely put out in a web article to test the waters for a concept. One that was never followed up on for publication, unlike some of the other Unearthed Arcanea content.

Also, Vampiric Touch, in addition to not being on the Sorcerer's spell list (and not being a very good spell in any case), is not eligible for the Twin Spell Metamagic as it is a self spell and Twin spell reads:

When you Cast a Spell that Targets only one creature and doesn’t have a range of self...

It sounds to me as if Wizard would be more of what you are after, as the Metamagic options do offer some flexibility to make up for the Sorcerer's limited spell list, but there are restrictions on their application that are not always obvious at first glance.
 

DM-Rocco

Explorer
It really depends on what you want. I've broken it down below, based on my opinions and experiences. If you want a solid character that can do a lot in and out of combat, go with wizard. If you want to be a blaster or do some weird combo, sorcerer is your friend.

Wizard Advantages
Spell versatility (prepared spells vs. known spells)
Ritual versatility (cast unprepared rituals)
Spell variety (AFAIK, there isn't a single spell the sorcerer gets that wizard doesn't)

Wizard Disadvantages
Poor Sub-classes (most are fairly meh)
Poor Multi-classing (no other Int based casters, except Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster)

Sorcerer Advantages
Metamagic (spell improvements)
More spells per day (by giving up Meta-magic)
Sub-classes (Dragon using Fire magic is strong, and Wild Mage can be awesome if the DM uses the Wild Magic Surge and Tides of Chaos frequently, Divine Soul is amazing)
Better Multi-classing (Bard, Paladin, and Warlock all Cha casting)

Sorcerer Disadvantages
Spammer (limited spells used repeatedly)
No Rituals
I did find a list somewhere that had the Spells at the sorcerer knows that the wizard doesn't in the supposed wizard knows that the sorcerer doesn't and I did post that above. I do like me some fun combos with I think the problem is that as soon as you get a really fun combo off if it breaks the game then the DM gets mad and that's kind of why I'm shying away from sticking with the Warlock sorcerer combo. So I think I'm determined to go wizard and I'm just trying to get a handle on what I want the race and sub-class and Feats to be but thank you for the breakdown
 

Advertisement

Top