D&D 5E Are Wizards really all that?

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Wizards are "all that" even at very low levels, since their spells allow them much more flexibility than any other class in the game. I've played an illusionist for years, and I quite often find myself sitting on my hands so that I don't completely dominate even lower level adventures.
Yeah I can't speak for Wizards because I don't play them much myself, but with Druids and Bards (not Clerics though) I often have just let someone else deal with it, because it's not "Ruin Explorer's Big Day Out", it's an adventure.

Clever Illusionists are an absolute menace. I feel kind of lucky that the only one I play with is a very occasional player.


Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
As is said, I’ve literally never played tier IV, and rarely III. And honestly at tier I full casters (except warlocks) have felt weak.
Same here on all points. We have a wizard in our 5th level group who is doing “fine.” He has swayed some combats and has detected magic and done comprehend languages. He has dropped a pivotal sleep spell.

In terms of game impact, he has not superceded the cleric or my blade pact warlock as only my most recent examples.

The land Druid has done fine too—-summoning and casting…


The 5e spells themselves need a revamp. 5e did a great job of removing broken spells. But there are MANY subpar spells that are strictly inferior to other spells in the same spell level.

Force Cage might be the only broken spell in 5e. In any case, it merits a rewrite to keep the unfun experiences of Fighter players in mind. The spell pretty much removes these players from gameplay, in a way that is unpleasant and nonentertaining.

Wall of Force is balanced, but it is strictly superior to the other wall spells. Probably, the other wall spells need to demote to a lower spell level where they become more competitive against the spells in the lower level. Alternatively, the wall spells get a rewrite to become more powerful so as to be more competitive versus the spells at their current level.

Fireball probably needs to reduce its damage output to be more comparable to other spell level 3 spells. It is ok if the Wizard has a class feature that augment it. Compare how the Warlock has class features to augment Eldritch Blast.

Reverse Gravity becomes available in a tier where flight by various means is normal.

In a combat encounter, "dead" is the most powerful status condition. Only the martial classes inflict this condition well.
A decent wizard will enable the party to inflict dead status with far fewer resources expended than without that wizard, for example by allowing the party to engage the enemies in serial rather than in parallel.

In one instance at my table, a high level wizard decided to turn against the rest of the party (a fighter, rogue, druid, and warlock). Granted, he had the element of surprise, but this really ticked me off, so while I was endeavoring to run the encounter in a neutral manner, my rulings were almost certainly biased in favor of the party. The wizard nevertheless very nearly TPK'd the entire party. They only survived because they used two wishes (from a Ring of Wishes) and retreated into a Staff of Sanctuary, after 3 or 4 rounds of trying to take the wizard down.

Now, I'll grant you that PVP is a very poor metric by which to be comparing classes in D&D. That said, can you imagine any scenario whereby a fighter could do the same? I can't. Again, this is not to say that classes should be balanced around PVP. But they ought to be equivalent in effectiveness within the game. I've never seen a scenario where a fighter even comes close to being able to take down an entire party. At best, the fighter might manage to kill one or two, but four? Not a chance. And this illustrates the power disparity between the two. Which doesn't even get into a comparison of utility, where the gap is exponentially greater.

Can a fighter and wizard both contribute meaningfully at the same table? Absolutely. Particularly if the wizard player is willing to share the spotlight.

Are wizards all that? Most definitely. A wizard who doesn't want to share the spotlight can hog it with far greater effectiveness than most other classes can.

Is that fundamentally a player problem? Yes. However, the classes should nonetheless be balanced such that if you have a problem player, one class doesn't pose an exponentially larger problem at the table than another. If not, it clearly demonstrates an issue of class balance.


Until they get to sit out the rest of the session because the party has decided that it isn't worth the risk or time to take a rest so the wizard can replenish.
Any wizard player worth their salt rarely needs to nova to swing a battle. Concentration makes that impractical anyway. There are plenty of spells where a single casting can make most encounters dramatically easier.

Until they get to sit out the rest of the session because the party has decided that it isn't worth the risk or time to take a rest so the wizard can replenish.
Honest question - how often have you seen that happen?

I have never seen it happen in the way you appear to describe - i.e. the party just "deciding" after the fact of the guy blowing most of his spells (which takes a while). In 33 years of D&D.

What I've seen is time pressure preventing Wizards from doing the spotlight hog thing, so that's a real thing, like, yeah a Wizard who knows they only have 24 hours to save the princess is probably not going to mess around trying to take extra long rests. So they tend to hold back a bit until they know it's time to shine.

And I've seen the exact opposite a ton. D&D is a team game, even if one PC is more important/powerful (to be fair this was much, much worse in 3.XE, and actually also in 2E with a clever enough player). When there isn't time pressure, or where it's malleable, I've often seen the group let daily casters nova 1-2 encounters, then the group Long Rests (or more actually, rests, because this was mostly in 3.XE), even though they have tons of resources, because they wanna win. It detracts from the fun for the non-casters, but "winning the adventure" tends to beat that in importance.

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