D&D 5E A Wizard's First Nine Spells

If you've ever made a wizard character, what are your favorite initial spells for your spellbook? Or just tell me about your Wizard character

So I'm futzing around and making my 1st character in years and decided to go with my personal favorite, Wizard. Right now I'm trying to pick my spells for my Spellbook. The typical wizard gets 9 spells to choose at first level, 3 Cantrips and 6 First Level. Spells can be added through Race and Feat choices of course.

Anyway here are my choices for now:
Human, Variant
Potential Schools: Transmuter, Abjurer, or Enchanter
War Caster Feat (maybe switch back to Spell Sniper.)

Fire Bolt
Control Fire
Minor Illusion

First Level
Alarm (Ritual)
Comprehend Language (ritual)
Expeditious Retreat (Concentration)
Find Familiar (ritual, 10gp consumed)
Mage Armor

log in or register to remove this ad


You get to add 2 spells at 2nd and 3rd ... so 10 spells.

Mage Hand
Fire Bolt or Toll the Dead

My 'common starting 6' and next additions are (with a * on the spells I often prepare):

Unseen Servant*
Detect Magic * (unprepare at 2nd)
Comprehend Languages*
Find Familiar

(I use my slots for sleep, and have 5 rituals)

Shield or Silvery Barbs*
Absorb Elements*

(A little defense at 2nd level - but I generally amstill focused on sleep)

Magic Mouth
Phantasmal Force*

(Phantasmal Force is very effective as it goes after intelligence, and it is insanely versatile. However, a restrictive DM may reduce the effectiveness. Magic Mouth is a very widely useful 2nd level spell).


For 5e:

1. Alarm (r)
2. Detect Magic (r)
3. Feather Fall
4. Mage Armor
5. Magic Missile
6. Shield
7. Sleep
8. Tenser's Floating Disk (r)
9. Unseen Servant (r)

In the running...

Disguise Self
Expeditous Retreat


I don't often play wizards, but during the last campaign, I played a warforged lore* wizard. The DM was running a modified version of Descent into Avernus based out of Luskan instead of Baldur's Gate, so my PC was a member of the Arcane Brotherhood who had gone through a RoboCop process and now had a warforged body instead of a human one.

He started off being known as Book, but when he earned full status in the Brotherhood, he changed his name to Grimoire the Grey ("Grim" for short). When we finished the campaign, he was a fighter 1 / lore wizard 14. He had an AC of 24 - mithril plate armor plus Defense Fighting Style plus Integrated Protection plus the Shield of the Hidden Lord (which functions as a +2 shield with extras). He was very much a tanky wizard. And he didn't have to worry about food or drink (or sleep) while in Avernus!

I can't remember which specific spells he took first, but here's what his spellbook + cantrips known looked like by the end of the campaign (go to prepared spells in bold):
Cantrips: mage hand, mind sliver, minor illusion, prestidigitation, shocking grasp
1st level spells: absorb elements, burning hands, comprehend languages, detect magic, false life, ice knife, identify, magic missile, shield, Tenser's floating disk
2nd level spells: blur, darkness, darkvision, hold person, invisibility, mirror image, misty step, phantasmal force, scorching ray, Tasha's mind whip
3rd level spells: counterspell, dispel magic, fireball, fly, thunder step
4th level spells: confusion, dimension door, divination, Evard's black tentacles, Raulothim's psychic lance
5th level spells: Bigby's hand, cone of cold, contact other plane, hold monster, passwall, Rary's telepathic bond, synaptic static, wall of force
6th level spells: chain lightning, mental prison
7th level spells: finger of death, plane shift, teleport

*I know the general consensus was that the lore mastery subclass was OP, which is why it never made it out of UA, but I really like the versatility it provides. For instance, while Grim was in Avernus, facing off against all manner of fire resistant/immune creatures, I would have him cast "jazz hands" (burning hands but with force damage) and "thunderball" (fireball but with thunder damage) and so on. So much fun!
Last edited:

Diviner Wizard, either ghostwise halfling (for ridiculous luck shenanigans) or half-elf (because Elven Accuracy is OP.)

Cantrips: prestidigitation (a lovely cantrip for all seasons), fire bolt (standard offensive option), and either light for the halfling or mage hand for the half-elf (depends on whether I have darkvision.)

1st level: chromatic orb (standard offense option), find familiar (one of my favorite spells ever), mage armor (standard defense option), sleep (effective AoE fight-ender early on), shield (possibly the best defensive spell in the game), and silvery barbs (an excellent blended debuff/buff spell.)

Prime pickup opportunities when hitting Wizard 2: comprehend languages (ritual, useful for all sorts of things) and disguise self (excellent utility).


Possibly a Idiot.
My current wizard is a House Jorasco Necromantic Doctor. So his spell picks are highly atypical, seeing as how he can actually heal people.

But here goes what I remember from level 1 anyway:
Prestidigitation, Toll the Dead, Light (He is a halfling after all). ~It is also worth noting he did in fact use his dagger and crossbow quite frequently at lower levels~

Find Familiar, Shield, Sleep, Mage Armor, Healing Word, Absorb Elements. And the rest were rituals, though I can't remember which ones I picked up at character creation and which ones I bought later.

Firebolt - or other more character-thematic ranged attack roll spell
Prestidigitation - if the party needs light, since this can pull extra duty lighting torches, otherwise I put it off until level 4, and take Minor Illusion for more shenanigans
An M Utility spell (Message, Mage Hand, or Mending) - usually Message, since Find Familiar can do most things Mage Hand does in a pinch and Mending is only important for certain campaigns. Depends on what the group lacks.
Alternate - Second Attack Cantrip, usually a saving throw one, which also take care of stuck-in-melee situations. Best such candidates are Toll the Dead or Mind Sliver.

Level 1 (take as many non-ritual as I can have preped at once based on INT, and then the rest as rituals. Based on rolls I've had as few as 3 be non-rituals and as many as six).

Non-Rituals in order of priority:
Sleep (the most useful contribution a level 1 Wizard will make)
Mage Armor (unless I somehow don't need it)
Magic Missile
Thuderwave or Burning Hands
Disguise Self

Rituals in order of priority:
Find Familiar
Detect Magic
Comprehend Languages

Level 2 is much simpler meanwhile, as I will basically always then be taking Shield and Identify, spells I absolutely want as free level one spells, but which I find I don't actually get to use as a first level character.


Limit Break Dancing
The last time I played a wizard, it was for our Eberron campaign. I went with a Mark of Making human wizard, and my first spells were:

Cantrips: firebolt, ray of frost, mending (bonus cantrip for my Dragonmark), and shocking grasp
Lv. 1: mage armor, magic missile, protection from evil and good, shield, thunderbolt, and witch bolt

I chose the School of Abjuration at 2nd level.


Assuming I find no scrolls or enemy spellbooks to write, folloing are my first 10 spells generally (I put 10 because that is how many I have at 3rd level):

1st level:
Detect Magic
Comprehend Languages
Find Familiar'
Mage Armor
Feather Fall
Absorb Elements
Silvery Barbs

2nd Level:
Tasha's Mind Whip


At the really low levels (like 1st and 2nd) its all about bang for your spell slots. So I prefer rituals at that level. Mage Armor and Shield are your got have "combat spells", everything else is negotiable. I do think sleep is very potent at the early levels so its good to have.

After a few more levels than silvery barbs, a few after that (around 4th and 5th level) absorb elements becomes a lot more useful as elemental types become more of a thing.

1 attack cantrip - probably Firebolt, possibly Frostbite, Mind Sliver, or Toll the Dead; Create Bonfire is good if I'm going to be allowed to change cantrips and bad if I'm not.
Prestidigitation if I want my wizard to feel competent because it's all the minor goodness of being a wizard
1-2 utility cantrips from Message, Mage Hand, Shape Water, Move Earth, Control Fire, and Minor Illusion, or lig

First level front line spells
Mage Armour (unless I have another armour source)
At least one of Sleep, Magic Missile, Thunderwave, Tasha's Caustic Brew, Tasha's Hideous Laughter
Possibly Disguise Self, Silent Image, or Silvery Barbs

First level important Rituals
Find Familiar (always!)
Detect Magic
Comprehend Languages

Second level list (no room at first level but I'm going to need these spells to save my neck later so pick them up at second to avoid losing higher level spells known)
Shield, Absorb Elements

Fire Bolt
Control Flames
Mage Hand

1st Level:
Find Familiar (ritual, 10gp consumed)
Sleep (action)
Mage Armor (action, 8hrs)
Comprehend Language (ritual)
Shield (Reaction)
Detect Magic (Ritual)

I think I'm going with this. Not much of offense, but some great utility. I plan to take the Enchanter School at 2nd.

Here's a pic of the guy. His name is Noog


Li Shenron

If you've ever made a wizard character, what are your favorite initial spells for your spellbook?

Normally I go by a theme, I don't like making generic/utilitaristic Wizards anymore, but if I were to create one anyway I'd probably go with this 1st-level list:

Dancing Lights
Mage Hand

First Level
Charm Person
Feather Fall
Mage Armor
Unseen Servant

These include a couple of defensive spells, a couple of semi-offensive spells and the rest are utilities. No combat cantrips, I'd just use a crossbow.

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement