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D&D 5E [GUIDE] Power Overwhelming: A Sorcerer Guide


Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Power Overwhelming: A Sorcerer Guide
As originally published by RhaegarT on the Wizards of the Coast message boards
Also available on Google Docs.

Overview: What is a Sorcerer?

A Sorcerer in Dungeons and Dragons is an arcane magic user, much like a Wizard. The primary difference is that their ability comes from an innate magical affinity, either through a bloodline or some other means, that allows them to manipulate magical energy by instinct and force of personality rather than study and Intellect.

What this means in practical terms has actually changed quite a bit over the last few editions of D&D.

The Sorcerer was introduced in 3rd edition and shared the same spell list with the Wizard. His main feature was that he was a deviation from traditional vancian magic, where most spellcasters needed to memorize specific spells in set “slots” every day and could only cast the spells they had prepared one time per each slot. The Sorcerer mixed this up by allowing “spontaneous” casting of any spell they know in any appropriate slot. As compensation they were given a much more rigid and limited set of spells known and later progression to new spell levels, but more actual slots to cast them in.

There was lots of debate in 3rd edition as to whether a Sorcerer or Wizard was “better”. Ultimately I think it was the consensus that a properly played, well prepared Wizard was usually better in most cases. In the end it was often more of a choice of personal style and preference, as both could be quite effective.

I will say that the original 3.0 and 3.5 Sorcerer was quite lacking in interesting class features (even severely lacking). No bonus feats, no flavor abilities, nothing. It’s as if the designers were too afraid that spontaneous casting would be overpowered and thus didn’t want to give the Sorcerer any love. Pathfinder improved this quite a bit, giving actual bloodlines that were both thematic, and effective at providing extra goodies for a variety of Sorcerer builds.

4th edition changed everything in that each class had its own list of powers and the Sorcerer and Wizard really had nothing to do with each other.

And now:

In 5th Edition we are back to the old Sorcerer/Wizard dichotomy, with a bit of a twist. The game designers have taken the ever popular spontaneous casting mechanic, and applied it to every caster in the game. The only holdover from older editions is that the classes that used to be spontaneous (bard, sorcerer) still have a limited spells known list, while the other main casters (cleric, druid, wizard) now prepare a list of spells every day from a much larger list, that functions exactly like the spontaneous spells known list, with the bonus that they can change it every day, and usually get a lot more prepared at a given time than a Sorcerer knows as well!

To top it all off, every caster now uses the same spell slots table so Sorcerer’s don’t even get more casts per day like they used to.

This has really put a damper on the Sorcerer, and led lots of people to ask, “What’s the point of the Sorcerer now?”

I’ll admit, that was my first thought as well when I first looked through the player’s handbook to see what they did with the new Sorcerer, a class that has traditionally been my favorite.

What they have given the Sorcerer instead in this edition, is Sorcery Points, a mechanic that allows the Sorcerer to manipulate his spell slot levels to some extent, as well as metamagic, which is now exclusive to the class rather than something every caster has access to.

Is that enough?

From a 3rd edition mindset, it appears that Sorcerers are completely screwed now and completely inferior to a wizard in every way. That was my first impression at least.

To truly make a judgement about this, we need to have a thorough understanding of just how much spellcasters have changed in 5th edition, as well as how metamagic and sorcery points interact with action economy and efficient resource use now.

Now that I’ve had some time to digest everything new in this edition I’m starting to see that the Sorcerer can still be quite good, and even amazing in some situations. It just requires a different mindset, especially if you are comparing to a Wizard.

This guide will attempt to examine these various aspects of spellcasting and show you where Sorcerers can excell.

Why play a Sorcerer?

Much like in 3rd edition (and many D&D based video games), this ultimately comes down to one factor. Can you live with the restricted spell list?

If the answer is yes, then usually you will be better off with a Sorcerer. If you are happy chucking fireballs all day, and a handful of other spells, the Sorcerer has always been able to do it more, if not better.

In 5th edition, the Sorcerer focuses on the “better” side rather than more, and that’s OK. It takes a bit of different thinking than 3rd, but it’s just as valid.

If you can look at this spell list, find 15 spells that you are happy casting all day, every day, and aren’t going to constantly regret not having a dozen other spells available, then the Sorcerer will work just fine for you, and can actually be quite amazing.

If you like having every little puzzle solving spell in your spellbook and ready to go, and mixing things up every day based on scouting/research/metagaming about what’s coming next, then move on, the Wizard is for you.

At the end of the day, It’s really that simple.

Color Coding the Guide:
This guide will use the following ratings:

Red is dead. A trap that you will want to avoid at all costs, either because it's ineffective or because it's thoroughly outclassed by another option that accomplishes something similar.
Purple is a substandard choice. It might be useful in corner-case situations, but overall it's not worth the investment.
Black is average. You're not hurting your character by taking this, and it might even help in some situations, but there are better choices.
Blue is a good choice. It definitely helps your character in the majority of cases.
Sky Blue is a fantastic choice. An option you should strongly consider above most others.
Gold is mandatory. It's a rare rating that denotes something that is so good that you must take it, or you can't call yourself optimized.

It should be noted that no races have an outright penalty to Charisma now, and with the cap being 20 for scores, all races are viable eventually. Because of this, none of them are rated red.

Higher rated races start with better stats which frees them up for feats earlier, or have other abilities that are particularly nice for a sorcerer, as noted below. Rolling very high ability scores to start with provides a lot more flexibility of course, and if you are in this lucky position, choose your race on flavor or specific racial abilities that you like.

Dwarf: At least it doesn’t have penalties to Charisma now, but otherwise neither subrace really gives you anything you want.
Elf (Drow): The High and wood Elf do nothing for you, but Drow can make an excellent Sorcerer and even give you a decent set of bonus spells to cast.
Half Elf: +2 Charisma, +1 to two any other stats you want, 2 free skills, Darkvision, Fey ancestry… What’s not to love? You get everything you could ever want in a race, other than a free feat. I’m tempted to even rate them gold.
Human (variant): The bonus feat and skill of the variant human can be quite handy, and you can still get +1 to charisma which if you put an odd number into it will be just fine.
Half Orc
Dragonborn: Should be the obvious choice but the +2 strength helps you not at all. Getting resistance for free is nice, you can pick the same element as your dragon bloodline or a different one to mix it up. Breath weapon while great to add some AoE for others is redundant for you.
Tiefling: Nearly as good as half elf. Good stats, resistant to fire, a few daily spells. Lots of RP considerations though.
Halfling (Lightfoot): Lightfoot can make a decent Sorcerer with its +1 Charisma and Dex bonus. Lucky is quite good and being able to hide behind allies could actually help a lot for a squishy caster.
Gnome: Better suited to being a wizard with their high int bonus.

DMG (example modifying classes):
Aasimar: Basically the same as tiefling. Wis not int, resistant to necrotic and radiant, few daily light/heal spells. Fits very well thematically with favored soul.

Changeling: +1 Charisma and Dex. Deception for free. Can look like anyone that you have seen. And start with 3 languages. Not as good at combat as some, but if you want to be a con artist or more roguelike, this is for you.
Shifter: No Charisma bonuses, nothing particularly useful to you.
Warforged: No Charisma bonuses, nothing particularly useful to you.

E.E Players Companion:
Aarakocra: No Charisma bonus, but flight can be handy if you haven’t picked an origin that provides it.
Deep Gnome: No Charisma bonus but some nice other abilities.
Genasi: No charisma bonuses. Could fit for RP of certain elements.
Goliath: No charisma bonuses


Strength: I’m trying to think of an instance in which a high strength score will help you, and I’m drawing a blank. Even if you want to melee, dexterity is a better choice for you, giving many more side benefits than strength.
Dexterity: Considered by many to be the “god stat” of this edition, it applies to initiative, saving throws vs most damage effects, AC, and a variety of decent skills. It can also apply to weapon attack and damage on finesse weapons with no feat investment, and can be used to overcome some physical challenges.
Constitution: Important for everybody. Spellcasters are quite vulnerable to begin with so extra HP helps out, and you also get to apply this to constitution saves to avoid losing a concentration spell when you take damage. Being proficient in the saves means that while a good score is great, you don’t have to invest as heavily as other casters just for saves.
Intelligence: Applies to some skills but otherwise isn’t very useful to you. Not rated lower because I feel that skills like Arcana are still somewhat important for you as an arcane caster. Also good to have at 13 in case you want to pick up ritual casting.
Wisdom: Applies to Wisdom saves and Perception checks. Both are important, but not important enough to invest heavily in this. Dont dump it though.
Charisma: Your Primary stat. Start as high as you can, get it to 20 as soon as you can, no exceptions.


Class Skills:
Arcana: Even though you likely won’t have high intelligence, being able to identify and have knowledge of various magical things is sort of your job. It also helps you use some magic items like scrolls, which can help you expand your spell versatility.
Religion: In most cases somebody else in the party will have this and be better than you at it.
Insight: Useful as a social character, but In most cases somebody else in the party will have this and be better than you at it.
Your High Charisma means that you can make an effective social skill user, which means it’s probably the best thing you can pick skill wise, as you aren’t really amazing at anything else. You probably don’t need all 3. I would take either Intimidation or Persuasion, and maybe Deception, depending on how you want to roleplay.

Other Skills: I will also rank the other skills as it’s very easy now to grab 2-4 of these from background and racial bonuses.

Athletics: You won’t be good at this even if you take it.
Acrobatics: You might have decent Dexterity and this gives you a few options for when physical skills are required.
Sleight of Hand: Situationally useful, and In most cases somebody else in the party will have this and be better than you at it.
Stealth: Can actually be really nice to have some extra stealthy characters in the group, and your decent Dexterity and lack of armor mean you can be pretty good at it, especially with some spell support.
History: In most cases somebody else in the party will have this and be better than you at it. Can be handy for plot purposes depending on the campaign.
Investigation:In most cases somebody else in the party will have this and be better than you at it. Can be handy for plot purposes depending on the campaign.
Nature: In most cases somebody else in the party will have this and be better than you at it.
Animal Handling:In most cases somebody else in the party will have this and be better than you at it.
Medicine: In most cases somebody else in the party will have this and be better than you at it. Can still be nice to be able to stabilize in a pinch, if say, the party healer goes down.
Perception: Nearly a must have for every class regardless of Wisdom score. I’m ranking it gold because it’s so easy to grab from a race or background and so much better to have than all the other non class skills. Nobody wants to be surprised, and every little bit helps.
Survival:In most cases somebody else in the party will have this and be better than you at it.
Performance: You can be good at it if you want to, but other than for RP reasons, no need for it.

Class Features:
Metamagic and Sorcery points are the only real class specific mechanics, which I will discuss after bloodlines.

Otherwise the level 20 ability:
Sorcerous Restoration: Finally you get a way to recover sorcery points without burning slots. Would be nice to get something earlier, maybe that starts at 1/rest and scales up to 4 by level 20. General ability refresher type abilities seem to be the norm for level 20 though so with that in mind its on par to other classes.

Sorcerous Origins:
Since the PHB came out there have been a couple of additional sorcerous origins added, both of which grant a large number of bonus spells known. Unfortunately this really skews the relative value of the Dragon and Wild Mage origins.

Personally I always thought that Dragon and Wild Mage should have had their own themed spell list. I probably wouldn’t have given them 10 free spells, maybe around 5, and pick spells that are very thematically appropriate to the origin to give it a real feel on the gameplay of the different origins.

Sadly Wizards chose not to do this and then obviously had a change of heart when designing the new origins, despite their own guide saying quite clearly “be careful about giving new spells”.

I will leave the Dragon and Wild Mage ratings as they were, even though favored soul is probably better to a degree that they should be lowered.

Draconic Bloodline:
The dragon bloodline provides some added toughness to the class as well as bonus damage on an element of choice, and eventually a free flight ability.
Dragon Ancestor:
Chose a dragon type, and eventually get bonus damage to the corresponding element type and the ability to get resistance for 1 sorcery point.
Double proficiency on social rolls with dragons is nice but rarely comes up.

The color doesnt matter, they didn't even give a flavor description for them (color is evil, metallic is good if you are wondering). What does matter is the element type.

Fire: The obvious choice as this is simply where the majority of good spells are right now.
Cold: Still decent but you will be limited in spells that benefit from it.
Lightning: Still decent but you will be limited in spells that benefit from it.
Acid: A bad choice as there are very limited spells available for Acid.
Poison: A bad choice as there are very limited spells available for Poison.

Hopefully in the future more spells, or an elemental swap capability enable more choice here.

Note: The spells from Elemental evil fill a few of the gaps, with a couple spells that have a variation for several elements. See the spell section for reviews. I’m not changing the above ratings though, for now.

Dragon Resilience: AC = 13+ dex is much better on the other hand. Free always on mage armor, which is great because you don’t want to have to spend a precious spell slot on it.
1 extra HP per level is also great, effectively makes your die a d8 and adds some extra survivability.

Elemental Affinity: Can spend a point to get resistance to your element for an hour. Really? They couldn't just make it permanent? Two races already get an always on fire resist… oh well.

Bonus damage to your element type is nice and the real benefit of this feature, as long as you can deal with the frequent resistant and immune monsters, especially for fire.
Note: as of the errata this will no longer stack for insane damage on spells like scorching ray. Still nice but changes the spell choices a little.

Dragon Wings: You can fly, whenever you want, all the time. Only armor gets in the way, but you don't wear armor so who cares.

Draconic Presence: Gives you a nice fear or charm option that affects an area. Might mean you don't have to pick certain spells that duplicate this effect. Though 5 sorcery points is kind of steep, basically means it’s valued as a level 5 spell.

Wild Mage:
Wild Mage can be quite good, but is also random and at the whim of your DM for certain abilities. I highly recommend talking with your DM (and party) before deciding to play one, and establishing things like how often he plans to ask you to roll for wild surges after using tides of chaos.

A good suggestion I’ve seen is to ask him to settle on a % chance ahead of time that he can roll. Otherwise the DM could just arbitrarily never ask you to roll, which nerfs one of your best features.

Wild Magic Surge: While it can cause the dreaded TPK fireball at level 1, if you can avoid that unlikely scenario until you can survive the nastier effects it’s not bad. There are more good/neutral rolls on the table than bad anyway. Not everyone likes the randomness, but those people would never play Wild Mage anyway.

Tides of Chaos (or not): If you can agree with your DM how he will decide to have you roll, its great. If he doesn't like wild surges and never asks, it’s not so great. Again, figure all this out before you make the character.

Bend Luck: You will now be burning spells for more sorcery points to spam this ability constantly.

Controlled Chaos: You basically have advantage on wild surge rolls. Makes an already statistically good thing even better.

Spell Bombardment: Adds a bit of an extra damage edge (about on par with the dragon charisma bonus for most spells), IF you roll a max on one die. Use with empowered to make sure that happens.

Unearthed Arcana:

Favored Soul:
Takes the classic favored soul theme and tries to use the sorcerer to pull it off. This makes sense since all casters are spontaneous now and that was all the favored soul was, a spontaneous cleric. So now they are using the divine connection to explain your Sorcerer powers, and linking it to a domain. Sounds reasonable.

What they ended up making was an overpowered sorcerer that also has some fighter/mage aspects, just because.

Chosen of the Gods: For the class whose main problems is number of spells known, more spells is excellent. Broken even, or at least good enough that every other path becomes sub-standard in comparison. Considering the class modification guide just finished stressing “DONT GIVE SORCERERS EXTRA SPELLS” I think it’s rather odd that they example they give has 10 free spells as its main feature.

Bonus Proficiencies (for fighter/mages): Armor and weapon proficiencies are a must for a fighter/mage (gish) build but otherwise are nice but not necessary. Medium armor at least means you can get decent AC without too much dex (no need for more than 14.

Extra Attack (for fighter/mages): Fine for gish builds, especially with quicken spell as you can use your attack action to make two attacks instead of just casting a cantrip.

Divine Wings: Same as dragon wings, but you can wear decent armor, so should make sure the armor will accommodate them.

Power of the Chosen: Free hit points for casting the spells you took this origin for. Not game breaking but a nice bit of survival.

I won’t rate every spell but I’ll rate the domains and mention a few of the keys that make that domain interesting. Some are sorcerer spells you might have picked anyway (still good as it frees up a regular pick) while some domains grant cleric or wizard spells you can’t access otherwise.

Knowledge: Nothing for combat, and honestly if you wanted to be a diviner you should have been a wizard. That said, if you really want to be a sorcerer but your party or campaign really demands these types of spells, then may as well pick this so that you don’t have to waste your regular picks on these.
Command, suggestion, and confusion at least give you some charm type spells you might have wanted to take anyway. Other domains still offer more.
Life: You could double as a healer if you really wanted, but you have better things to take and don’t have enough spells to heal the party and fill your sorcerer role. If you really want to be able to heal grab cure wounds from magic initiate and leave it at that. Spiritual weapon is nice as you can attack with it as a bonus action while casting regular spells.
Light: This spell list reads a lot like a standard fire sorcerer list. There are two ways to look at it: this doesn’t give much that you don’t already get, but it does give you a lot of what you want, so that you can use your limited sorcerer spell picks elsewhere. I think that’s great, especially if you aren’t worried about picking up a bunch of non-sorcerer spells. Even then, faerie fire is a particularly good level 1 pickup and guardian of faith can be quite nice for a sorcerer that is a bit more front line.
Nature: Lots of animal and nature themed spells obviously, but nothing that particularly helps a sorcerer. Could be used for for RP purposes if you want a druid type feel to your arcane caster.
Tempest: Some decent spells but actually this list is very similar to the spells the storm sorcerer gets (6 of the 10 are on the storm list). Given that and how great the storm sorcerer features are, if your character is themed for storm and lightning, that is a much, much better choice.
Trickery: A decent lineup of charms and illusions. It’s too bad confusion isn’t on it, as it would be nice and fit thematically, but the inclusion of spells like dispel magic, mirror image, and polymorph make this a solid lineup.
War (for fighter/mages): If you plan to embrace the fighter/mage aspects of this origin, war domain gives you a few nice spells that go along with that. You get the standard cleric melee buffs, as well as spirit guardians which can provide some nice front line foe only AoE damage. Hold Monster tops it off and gives you a solid level 5 you probably wanted anyway.
Death: A solid list of mostly necromancy spells that can be useful for both casters and fighter/mages. False life and blindness/deafness are both solid picks for any sorcerer. Vampiric touch is amazing with quicken, as you can repeat the attack while quickening spells. In fact this fills a major (and i believe intentional) gap in the sorcerer list, a repeatable action spell at a low enough level to use consistently with quicken. The rest of the list is decent as well and if necromancy is your style, it’s gold.


Classic storm sorcerer archetype, and adds some bonus spells as well. Because it does not offer the huge variety that the favored soul does, it’s not quite as good, but if you wanted to be a lightning focused caster it’s pretty good and has lots of great lightning based abilities. Also keep in mind storm gives you a couple level 7 and 9 bonus spells while favored soul domain spells are all level 1-5.

Tempestuous Magic: Free flight movement whenever you cast. It’s only 10 feet but can still add up to a lot of mobility.

Heart of the Storm: This is what the Dragon elemental affinity should have been. Straight up resistance to two elements all the time, and an AoE damage effect to anything within 10 feet of you that scales with level.

Storm guide: Mostly for RP purposes, but can come in handy.

Storm’s Fury: Anytime somebody hits you, use your reaction do your level in lightning damage and knock them back 20 feet with a check. Amazing, especially since you can do it every turn and there’s no limit on it. Probably should have been 1/rest.

Wind Soul: Permanent flight, no wings to worry about, can share with party. Oh and lightning/thunder immunity. What’s not to love.

Thunderwave is always great, and call lightning and ice storm, are nice to have. There’s also a few utility and zone type spells like fog cloud and gust of wind, and some summoning with conjure minor elemental and conjure elemental, though these are limited to air.

Overall a lot of these spells you might not necessarily pick, but free is free, these fit your theme, and none of them are stinkers.

Font of Magic (Sorcery Points):
A new mechanic, this is the thing that fuels your metamagic, as well as a feature called “flexible casting”. What is flexible casting? It’s basically the ability to burn a spell slot to make more sorcery points, or to use sorcery points to create a spell slot (bonus actions for each). You get one sorcery point per class level, and can burn slots for additional points or use those points for more slots.

While being able to burn unneeded slots to fuel more metamagic is great, creating spell slots is situational at best. You need your points for metamagic, and the point ratio is also designed to be inefficient. To create a level 5 slot, you need 7 points, which would be equivalent to burning a level 7 spell slot.

That said, there are times when you just NEED a level 5 spell NOW and you don’t have any spell slots of 5-9 left.

In that case, if you have 7 sorcery points available (or can burn a level 3 and 4 slot to make them available), you can create a level 5 slot for yourself.

No other class can do this on the fly like you can. It might not come up every game but when you really do need that slot it’s a great fallback option.

The real bread and butter of the class, and the feature that you need to exploit the most in order to bridge the gap between you and the Wizard.

Careful Spell: Since it only lets your allies make their save, it’s not very good with damage spells as they will still take half damage. Certain control spells like Confusion can work well with this. Or you could just aim them more carefully so as not to hit your party in the first place... It’s really not that hard to do. If you absolutely can’t find an angle to fire your spell without killing or disabling a friend, then pick a different spell. You probably have plenty of good spells that specifically target individual creatures rather than an area.

Distant Spell: Remember that one time you really needed to shoot 300 feet, and the longest range spell you had was 150 ft, and the party got TPK’d because of it? Yeah… me neither... Can be ok for reaching runners, picking off enemy “snipers” or setting up funky ambushes, but I can’t think of a time in the last 15 years when my party fought stuff that far away and we NEEDED a sniper character to win. Reach with touch spells would be awesome if we had more than shocking grasp (Vampiric would be decent with this if you can get it on your list). Otherwise there are far too many better choices to pick this.

Empowered Spell: While statistically it’s bonus damage isn’t going to be huge (you might change some 1 or 2s into a 3-4 on average) it’s strength is that you can wait till you roll a handful of those dreaded 1’s on your big fireball, and use it then when you need it most. Being able to apply it after the fact, and on a spell you’ve already meta’d is what makes it good.

Extended Spell: With the new concentration mechanic, there are very few spells now that you would want to increase the duration of for that long. Can be handy in some cases out of combat but otherwise not worth one of your precious picks. The better long term 8 hour type buffs like foresight that you might want to extend, we don't even get.

Heightened Spell: While there aren’t any “save or die” spells, there are plenty of “save or suck” that this can be quite handy for. Even just to make sure your disintegrate does full damage can be quite useful.

Quickened Spell: This ability breaks the action economy in a way no other caster can. While it prevents you from casting anything but a cantrip with your action, there are many other things you can do with it, and it’s not like cantrips are that bad either. You can still use your action to repeat attacks for spells like Sunbeam, Telekinesis, and Eyebite. You can use your action to disengage or dash, or use an item, while still casting a potent spell.

While most people just think about how big a nova damage chain they can pull off (and it is quite good) there’s plenty of other options that make this a golden pick. And it’s not even that expensive at 2 sorcery points each, regardless of the spell level you are casting.

Subtle Spell: Can be handy in certain RP situations or when being sneaky. Or if your DM is a jerk and likes capturing and tying up the party casters. Usually even if that happens, your DM won’t TPK you just because you didn’t grab subtle spell.

Twinned Spell: Another ability that lets you do something very powerful that nobody else can. Twin’s biggest benefit is letting you break the concentration limitation and have two copies of certain spells up at a time that normally only allow one. Haste is great, and you are the only one who can cast it on the Fighter AND the Barbarian at the same time, for 3 points. Same goes for stoneskin, protection from energy, and a variety of other buffs.

Debuff and control spells like dominate person can be used by you on two targets, or maybe even a hold person that you just don’t feel like using a higher slot on to get the extra target (is it better to burn a level 3 slot, or a level 2 slot and 2 sorcery points? depends, and you are free to do either).

Twin can also be used on high damage spells like disintegrate to effectively double your damage by attacking two targets. I don’t recommend this type of use in most cases. Usually with really difficult monsters you are fighting one at a time, or you’d rather burn one down in the interest of the party taking less damage (so do single target nova with quicken instead). Twin also becomes quite expensive on spells above level 5.

That said, there are certain high level spells that are quite game breaking if you can effect more than the intended single target. Unfortunately, some of the best potential options, like foresight, aren’t on our list, most likely intentionally :)

Notes on Spell Selection:

Class considerations:
As we’ve discussed, the Sorcerer has a very limited selection of spells known, making it imperative that spells are selected carefully and that you remain mindful of role overlap and versatility for every spell you pick.

At level 20 the sorcerer will have only 15 spells known. You start with 3 level 1 spells, get 2 per spell level from 2-5 and then 1 per spell level from 6-9.

An important aspect that must not be overlooked, is the ability at each level up to unlearn an old spell and learn a new one in its place, in addition to the spells you normally learn at each level. This is essential at later levels to ensure you have the best spells available to you and are using your resources most efficiently. There’s no point in having a level 1 or 2 spell that has long become obsolete when you can replace it with a better level 3-9 spell. Usually you will be doing this for more extra level 3-5 spells, as I’ll explain next.

Slot and level considerations:
Unlike in 3rd edition, spells per day is much more limited especially after level 5 spells. There’s usually no point in knowing 3 level 7 spells if you can only cast 1 per day. The exception might be in cases where knowing more than one spell for that level offers you unusual versatility that you might not otherwise have, but that’s rare. These choices must be made carefully to ensure you can actually make the best use of the spells known that you have.

Slot efficiency is now an important consideration for all spellcasters. The ability to cast spells at higher slot levels for extra effect opens up a lot of possibilities and it means that a level 3 spell and a level 5 spell are often roughly equivalent at the same spell level for casting.

This plays very heavily into spell selection for the Sorcerer as a means to get more mileage out of certain spells that scale well. No longer do you automatically have to grab that next damage spell of the next spell level every time, you can make a lot of spells last by simply casting them in the higher slot.

Casting spells in higher slots around spell levels 4-5 seems to be the sweet spot, after that you are usually better off casting an actual level 6-9 spell most of the time, with a few exceptions (scorching ray for fire dragon sorcerers for example - now nerfed by the errata). Disintegrate will do more damage than a magic missile or chromatic orb that is cast in the same level 6 slot. This is intentional, otherwise there would be no reason to pick those limited but powerful level 6-9 spells.

Spell Types:
As for the types of spells you want, you generally want to get a good mix of damage, party buffs, control/debuffing, and defensive spells. You don’t really have room for a lot of utility spells. You can maybe fit one or two utility spells if they are versatile (enhance ability, fly, Invisibility come to mind) but you aren’t a Wizard.

For damage you likely want a couple single target spells and couple multi-target/AoE spells. Ideally you want to have at least a few damage types and a few targeted defenses (AC, various saves) mixed in. It’s best if most of these are lower level spells that scale up well, with maybe a couple of them being level 6+ spells that pack a punch.

The same goes for control/debuffing. You should try and target a few defenses, usually wisdom or constitution (sometimes others), and it’s good to have a couple of single target and multi target/area spells.

Defensively there are a few types of spells. There’s AC buffing with spells like shield, damage avoidance with spells like mirror image or blink. THP buffing can be done with a spell like false life, and resistances can be gained through spells like blade ward, stoneskin and protection from energy.

Mobility spells like misty step and dimension door can also be considered defensive in some cases.

Party buff spells are a special case. While I've rated some spells high, ultimately this is all about what your party wants and needs. You still only can really pick one or two, and thats a tough decision to make. But at the end of the day, if all your party members are begging you for spell X and say they are willing to give up haste for it, then ignore my rating and pick what your party wants. Your buff slot isnt about you, it's about them.

How you pick your limited spell list is a matter of taste but generally if you have most of those roles covered in some way or another, with minimal duplication and overlap, you are on the right track.

And last but not least, Concentration spells. As a way of balancing powerful buff and debuff spells, and eliminating “buff rounds”, where the party does nothing but buff up for 5 turns before every fight, the designers have introduced a new concentration mechanic that prevents you from having more than one concentration spell active at a time.

While I agree with the purpose of this, I do think in some cases they have gone overboard with it, and in many cases have not been consistent with how it has been applied. Spells that have ongoing effects without requiring concentration are now much more desirable picks.

For example Blur requires concentration, mirror image does not. While blur gives a great effect, not only does it restrict you from casting another concentration spell, but any hits that do make it through force a constitution save and might drop your spell anyway. Mirror image has a decent chance of negating 3 attacks and will simply last the duration.

This means you need to take care with your spell selection. You don’t need to avoid concentration spells altogether, some of them are actually really amazing. But you do need to ensure that you aren’t picking just concentration spells that you will never be able to maintain at the same time.

This means pick the best of the best, and use the rest of your picks on spells you can cast while those concentration spells are in use.

One thing to note however, is that Sorcerer’s happen to be the only class in the game that has a means of bending the rules on concentration, via the Twin spell metamagic ability.

For each spell level I will attempt to bunch the spells together loosely around type (damage/buff/utility, etc). Keep in mind that because of the low number of spell picks you can make, anything rated black or lower is probably not as good for you as it would be for a Wizard.

I’m not going to downgrade them just for being a Sorcerer, though, I’ll rate them as I would for any class. Just note that blue-gold is probably where the majority of your picks should come from.

Saving throw targeting and melee cantrips can be used at close range without penalty, which can be quite nice. I recommend grabbing at least one of these:

Acid Splash: A Decent option that can be used close range without disadvantage and can hit two targets. The only semi AoE cantrip you can get.
Poison Spray: A higher damage close range option.
Shocking Grasp: Melee option that also has advantage to hit anybody wearing metal, and prevents reactions. Hit them, and simply walk away. Saves you a disengage action, and can potentially help other party members get away from a nasty melee enemy as well.

Ranged damage cantrips will be your staple for a long time. If you have a fire or cold dragon element you definitely want the corresponding spell. Otherwise one or two of these is fine, though having both a fire and cold option can be handy.

Chill Touch: An interesting side effect of stopping enemy healing that probably rarely comes up, and a debuff for undead that only helps you. And oh yeah, undead are usually immune to necrotic damage too… I’d honestly rather it was still a touch spell and did something more useful/interesting.
Fire Bolt: Best ranged damage cantrip for pure damage. Fire resistance can be a problem. Better if you picked fire for your dragon sorcerer type, which most people will.
Ray of Frost: Decent ranged damage and a slow debuff that can be handy. Better if you picked cold for your dragon sorcerer type. Still good for fire dragons as an alternate damage type, though its range is shorter.


Blade Ward: Unless you are building some sort of melee gish character you usually have better things to do with your action. Could be ok with quicken if you are getting hit a lot, as you can still cast this between quickened spells.
Dancing Lights: You could maybe use it to put lights on the foreheads of a bunch of enemies in the dark to let your archer hit them better. Or you could cast a real spell at them and save your precious concentration for something better.
Friends: Great no save win button for social situations where you don't care if the guy gets mad. Like interrogating an enemy.
Light: Can be handy to have but you probably have darkvision already and the cleric or any other caster in the party can grab this too.
Mage Hand: Pretty handy utility spell that doesn't even need concentration. Can’t ask for much else from a cantrip.
Mending: Being able to fix random stuff can be handy, sometimes.
Message: Ok for being sneaky and communicating with the party rogue.
Minor Illusion: Lots of tricky things you can do with this. Not really my thing but some people like this stuff.
Prestidigitation: Can do some interesting out of combat stuff and decent variety.
True Strike: Would be great if it didn’t eat your action. You could use it with quicken to hit more often, but again, better things to do. Being concentration makes it really bad for a pure caster.

EE Players Companion:
Create Bonfire (fire dragon): ground effect fire zone that functions similar to cloud of daggers. The fact that it’s a cantrip makes it much much better, and makes cloud of daggers that much worse.
Control Flames: Minor fire themed ability that has mostly RP utility.
Frostbite (cold dragon): Cold based vicious mockery that targets Con. Will work on things that are charm immune, though the con save might be harder to hit on heavy hitting monsters.
Gust: Minor air themed ability that has mostly RP utility.
Mold Earth: Has some decent terrain affecting utility but mostly out of combat utility.
Shape Water: Minor water themed ability that has mostly RP utility.
Thunderclap: Close range thunder AoE. Not sure why you would take this over thunderwave, which does the same damage but also pushes, unless you plan to be completely surrounded regularly for some reason.

Level 1
Mage Armor (dragon): Kind of a spell tax for mages that dragon sorcerers can thankfully avoid entirely.
Shield: A reaction spell that gives you +5 AC for a while round. Remains relevant the whole game. In fact it only gets better at higher levels, as while most of your other level 1 spells become obsolete (or are only worth casting at higher levels), this remains a strong spell you will always be fine spamming with your level 1 slots.
False Life: A nice THP buff that scales with slot level. Unfortunately to keep up with being useful, you need to cast this at ever higher slot levels and eventually it just doesn’t keep up anymore. Good for early game though

Burning Hands: Decent early game AoE damage. Even fire sorcerers won’t get their damage bonus with it until they already have fireball though.
Chromatic Orb: Decent damage that scales well. Becomes blue or higher if you always know what a monsters resits and vulnerabilities are.
Color Spray: Blinding is nice, but it’s only one round and I’d rather just sleep everything.
Magic Missile: Doesn’t do quite as much damage as Chromatic Orb, but is auto hit and force damage is resisted by almost nothing. In fact, it only does about 25% less damage that Chromatic Orb, so unless you can hit an AC 75%+ of the time, this is better.
Ray of Sickness: A nice Constitution targeting spell that can put a nasty debuff on one creature for a round. Needing to hit, as well as have it fail the save though makes it less useful.
Sleep: You definitely want to grab this early game, but drop it by level 5 or so as it starts to become obsolete.
Thunderwave: Better than burning hands as its damage is less resisted and you get a push effect.
Witch Bolt: Ok at low levels to get repeating damage on something with high HP. The fact that only the initial damage scales makes it useless later on.


Charm Person: Requires a save, and only better than friends because of longer duration and they don’t become outright hostile when it ends, though they “know they were charmed” whatever that means. More useful in friendlier more prolonged social situations than friends, otherwise friends is fine.
Comprehend Languages: Nice, but rarely comes up and there are plenty of other means of getting it. Also a ritual
Detect Magic: Good to have but nearly every other caster can do it too and there are items that let you do it, or it can just be used as a ritual.
Disguise Self: Unless you like playing a master impersonator or something, this isn’t likely to get much use.
Expeditious Retreat: Handy when you need it, which is probably rare. You dont have the picks for this, and there are better movement options.
Feather Fall: Handy when you need it, which is probably rare. You dont have the picks for this.
Fog Cloud: Can be ok to obscure the party and help with certain stealthy things, but otherwise not that great.
Jump: Handy when you need it, which is probably rare.
Silent Image: Lots of tricky things you can do with this. Not really my thing but some people like this stuff.

EE Players Companion:
Catapult: Same damage as chromatic orb, but requires an object you can lob at the target. Does damage to structures, but that doesn’t come up often.
Ice Knife (Cold Dragon): Small initial damage and an AoE cold burst that scales with spell slot. Can be twinned to cause two bursts, which might be really good at low level for some ranged AoE that is otherwise lacking. Aside from that it won’t scale well and isn’t a great level 1 spell.
Earth Tremor (Fighter/mage): Damage and knock down creatures within 10 feet of you. For a fighter/mage this could be quite nice if you get surrounded, and prone enemies grant advantage to your attacks.

Level 2
Lots of great choices here.

Cloud of Daggers: A weak zone effect that is far too easy to avoid
Scorching Ray (fire dragon): A decent damage spell that can be single target or split. Becomes one of the best damaging spells in the game in the hands of a fire dragon that can add charisma to every ray. The errata changed the elemental damage bonus to only apply to one ray. Still a good spell but no longer the #1 choice for Dragon sorcerers.
Shatter: A decent damage effect that can break objects.

Blur: Would be good if it didn't require concentration.
Mirror Image: Is amazing because it doesn't require concentration.

Blindness/Deafness: No concentration, target scaling. Blind all those archers in the back, yes please.
Crown of Madness: Sounds good at first glance but requiring your action and only hitting things they can reach makes this charm spell less useful. The action can be used with quicken though, which is its only redeeming quality.
Darkness: Situational and more likely to annoy your friends.
Gust of Wind
Hold Person: Awesome paralyze spell. The save each turn sucks, but you should use it on things the party fighters/rogues are about to pound on anyway.
Phantasmal Force: Can do some fun enemy manipulations with this one.
Suggestion:Can do some fun enemy manipulations with this one.
Web: Good area restrain spell, and as a plus if you burn them they take more damage.

Alter Self: Situational self buff.
Darkvision: Situational self buff, leave it to the wizard.
Detect Thoughts: Situational and mostly RP uses.
Enhance Ability: Awesome buff that can be applied to any stat and effects all skill and ability checks. Concentration but scales targets with spell level. Clerics and bards also get it though, so leave it to them if you can.
Enlarge/Reduce: A decent buff or debuff. Becomes much better if you have a party member who wants to specialize in grappling or other strength based combat maneuvers. If that is the case, they will probably prefer this over haste, so if you are going to pick a party buff, pick the one your party members want and will appreciate the most.
Knock: Situational utility, leave it to the wizard, if he even wants it.
Levitate: Sort of ok utility/movement, amazing creature removal if they fail their save. Concentration though.
Invisibility: A good buff to use, but best if the party likes being sneaky. Scales targets with spell level.
Misty Step: A great emergency movement spell. Bonus action is a plus.
See Invisibility: Very situational but nice to have when you need it.
Spider Climb: Situational utility, leave it to the wizard.

EE Players Companion:
Aganazzar’s scorcher (Fire Dragon): A nice line AoE that persists for a round and can act as a short term minor firewall.
Dust devil: An interesting small zone that can damage and push things, and you can move it around. Quite nice for a 2nd level spell to have both damage and control that you can reposition.
Earthbind: All it really does is force a flying creature to stop flying. The most dangerous flying monsters like dragons will usually win the strength check.
Maximilian’s earthen grasp: A grasping hand spell that’s only level 2 and has repeatable actions which can be used while quickening spells.
Pyrotechnics: Can create a little explosion that blinds people or an obscuring fog. Blindness/deafness is probably better but it’s not bad having two effects to chose from in one spell.
Snilloc’s snowball swarm (cold dragon): A ranged AoE burst which is rare for low level, but the radius is small and there are better spells to pick. You’ll have fireball soon enough.
Warding wind: An ok defense against ranged attacks as well as fog zones, but situational.

Level 3
Another key spell level that traditionally has some of the most well known and widely used signature spells in the game.

Fireball (Fire dragons): The classic stand in AoE damage spell.
Lightning Bolt: A little harder to hit lots of things than fireball other than in certain situations. Also you are less likely to be lightning dragon, but if you are, it’s better.

Fear: Good way to get a swarm of guys off of you or breaking up a difficult encounter. Generally groups I’ve run with don’t like letting monsters and potential treasure run away.
Slow: The inverse of Haste, decent, but just not as good. I’d rather haste my super heavy hitting fighter buddies.
Sleet Storm: Decent area terrain effect but not good enough to pick at this level.
Stinking Cloud: Decent area shut down effect but not good enough to pick at this level.
Hypnotic Pattern: Area charm effect that takes multiple targets out of the fight for the entire duration (until you damage them or somebody wakes them up) with just one save and no follow up save chances. I foolishly rated this low at first, thanks to all the commenters who convinced me how great it is.

Haste (certain party compositions): With twin this might just be the only concentration spell your party members ever let you cast again. Be warned, and plan your spell selections accordingly. This of course assumes two characters in your party that will benefit from it.
Blink: A great defensive spell with a movement aspect too. No concentration, 50% chance to be untouchable after every turn and re-appear where you want. Nice.
Protection from Energy: great when you need it, useless otherwise. Only 1 target and concentration hurts, even with twin. Leave it to the priest, you have more important things to do honestly.

Counterspell: Great when you need it but maybe leave it to somebody else (although only wizard and warlock get it other than us). I love the way counterspelling works now so I might get it anyway, especially if there is no wizard or warlock around.
Clairvoyance: Situational, leave it to the wizard or whoever else can do it.
Daylight: Highly situational.
Dispel Magic: Great when you need it but maybe leave it to somebody else.
Fly: A great buff, but you can fly for free later, and most of the time the fighter would rather you haste him, other than rare cases.
Gaseous Form: Might have some uses but I doubt I’d spend a pick on it.
Major Image: Lots of tricky things you can do with this. Not really my thing but some people like this stuff.
Tongues: Situational, leave it to the wizard or whoever else can do it. Then again, you might be the only person who can cast it and you are probably the party face...
Water Breathing: Situational and a ritual, leave it to the wizard or whoever else can do it.
Water Walk: Situational and a ritual, leave it to the wizard or whoever else can do it.

EE Players Companion:
Erupting earth: AoE for some damage and difficult terrain.
Flame arrows: Great to cast on your rangers arrows, but requires concentration and there are better buffs to cast, like haste.
Melf’s minute meteors (Fire Dragon): Requires concentration but could be helpful to improve burst damage and bonus action economy (when not using quicken). A 3rd level concentration spell hurts when there are so many other good options though.
Wall of water: Decent wall spell.

Level 4
Some really good control spells this level.
Banishment: Completely removes one (or several at higher slot levels) creatures from play for the combat as long as you concentrate. If it’s an outsider or resident of another plane, this zaps them permanently. And its a Charisma save which isn't that common.
Blight: 8d8 on a single target, can be twinned if you can spare the sorcery points for it too. Works on a con save instead of an attack roll. A bit disappointing that it can’t crit but it’s the only 4th lv damage spell. All in all I’d say not bad.
Compulsion: Can get a bunch of guys running through zones and drawing opportunity attacks.
Confusion: Excellent area debuff that can have all your enemies attacking each other or doing nothing. Random but the odds aren't actually that bad for the bad stuff.
Dominate Beast: Dominate is OK but just beasts isn’t very good at all.

Ice Storm: Great AoE damage that gives you two damage types, and difficult terrain. Scaling gives you more bludgeoning damage which can help against elemental resistant stuff.
Wall of Fire: A semi-sculptable wall that radiates damage on one side. Can be used to divide the battlefield and force enemies to make bad decisions about movement or take damage.
Blight: Really decent single target damage that scales well and targets constitution.

Stoneskin: A nice defensive buff that you can also twin. A stupid material component and the fact that anything magic pierces it makes it less optimal.
Dimension Door: A nice mobility spell, and you can take a friend.
Greater Invisibility: A great buff that you can also twin, making it another awesome spell only you can cast twice.
Polymorph: Lots of fun options, both buff and debuff

EE Players Companion:
Storm sphere: Decent zone damage spell.
Vitriolic sphere (Acid Dragon): Acid fireball.
Watery sphere: Restraining zone you can move. Not bad at all.

Level 5
Some good spells here, nothing too exciting.

Cloudkill: Nice zone damage that you can move.
Cone of Cold: Decent scaling AoE damage that targets constitution. Sometimes cones can be easier for targeting enemies safely, by aiming it in a space between allies from close up as well.
Insect Plague: Actually very similar to cloudkill, different damage type and doesn't move.
Teleportation Circle: Decent party utility, but most DM’s don’t outright require somebody to have the ability to teleport, or they give you some other means if its important.
Dominate Person: Dominate is always nice, just remember it takes concentration. The action portion can be used with quicken spell, making this one of the only decent options for this trick before spell level 6 (and thus a lot more repeatable). So I’ll give it blue for that.
Hold Monster: Like hold person, but can affect a lot more targets. Probably upgrade hold person to this at some point, though the extra humanoid targets are much easier to get on hold person and can be handy too.
Wall of Stone: Can be handy for control and utility purposes.
Creation: Actually quite versatile, which is nice to have for a class that lacks spell versatility. Requires creativity to use effectively.
Seeming: Disguise self for the whole party. Maybe for a Wizard once in a blue moon, I wouldn’t use my precious spell picks for it.
Animate Objects: Sort of gives you summons in a game that doesn’t give you very many summoning options. Not my style though.
Telekinesis: An excellent control and utility spell that can also be used with quicken spell, making it a potent combo, and one of the only spells we have that can work with quicken this way before level 6. That alone makes it very good.

EE Players Companion:
Control winds: Provides some wind based zone control but seems a bit underwhelming for a level 5 spell.
Immolation: Only single target and even fireball as a level 3 does more damage. Unlikely you would get more than a couple extra rounds out of this. And it’s concentration.

Level 6
So many incredibly good spells, this is your hardest choice since 3rd level spells, probably even harder.

Globe of Invulnerability: Good spell defense which includes area spells. Unfortunately a lot of really bad AoE damage stuff probably doesn't qualify as a “spell”. I’d rather just counterspell the things this saves you from, as that helps the whole party.
Arcane Gate: A multi person version of dimension door. Good utility that a wizard will probably keep in his book, but not you.
True Seeing: Great spell to see hidden enemies and discover secret hidden stuff. You probably have too many other great picks at this level to get it.
Mass Suggestion: A great control spell that can have all sorts of interesting uses, and lasts a long time with no concentration. Requires some creativity.
Chain Lightning: A great multi target damage spell that lets you choose the targets. Probably gold for lightning dragon Sorcerers.
Sunbeam: Repeatable damage beam effect, with a decent debuff rider. You can use this every turn while still quickening other spells, though there are not plenty of other options for that.
Circle of Death: A large AoE damage spell, dealing necrotic. By now you may have noticed that all of these AoE spells do roughly the same damage if cast at the same level. This is why you only really need a couple of them. This one is nice but not as good as the other spells at this level.
Eyebite: Repeatable save or suck effect with three options to chose from. You can use this every turn while still quickening other spells.
Disintegrate: Some of the best single target damage in the game, and force is rarely if ever resisted.
Move Earth: Situational utility. Way too many better picks to consider this.

EE Players Companion:
These investiture spells are all pretty good, though being level 6 spells makes them a hard choice given the limited number of selections and spell slots. The fire and ice version are both great for their corresponding draconic sorcerers, and the stone can provide a lot of extra tankiness and battlefield mobility to a fighter/mage. The wind version grants flight and the ability to blow people around a bit, but there are plenty of other low level ways to fly (or class features) and otherwise it isn’t very good.
Investiture of flame (Fire dragon): Fire immunity and cold resistance, automatic AoE damage to anything that moves next to you, and a repeatable fire attack that is compatible with quicken spell.
Investiture of ice (Cold dragon): Cold immunity and fire resistance, difficult terrain AoE around you, and a repeatable cone of cold that is compatible with quicken spell.
Investiture of stone (Fighter/mages): Grants physical damage resistances, can use an action to knock nearby enemies prone, and gives some nice movement through earth and stone.
Investiture of wind: Protection against ranged attacks, flight, and a repeatable wind AoE.

Level 7
A few pretty decent spells, shouldn't be too hard to pick just one, and its nice to not have a hard choice after level 6 spells… Speaking of level 6 spells, I might even just grab more level 6 spells instead, those are just so good.

Plane Shift: Actually a pretty amazing “save or suck” that is actually a save or die for a lot of creatures. Charisma save to send one creature to a plane of your choosing, permanently unless it finds its own way back… Elemental plane of fire, the abyss… lots of really nasty options here, especially if it has a vulnerability.
Teleport: Decent party utility, but most DM’s don’t outright require somebody to have the ability to teleport around the world...
Delayed Blast Fireball: Can stack up to some nice damage, but you can only do one as it’s concentration. A fireball cast at level 7 does the same base 12d6 damage.
Fire Storm: Basically a bigger area fireball. Can sculpt it a bit more though and potentially hit more things, less friends.
Prismatic Spray: I’ve always loved this spell for some reason, even though its effects are completely random and not even that particularly good...
Finger of Death: Good damage, but still not even as much as disintegrate. Targets a different save at least, and a zombie slave sounds kinda cool.
Etherealness: Some interesting uses to safely move about or even scout out an area/dungeon.
Reverse Gravity: An area control spell that barely even lets a save happen and can immobilize a large number of enemies. Almost too cheesy to use.

Level 8
Some decent spells here, but nothing that screams obvious pick to me… I’d even consider grabbing another level 6 spell instead. Can always use this slot to cast them better, or burn for points.

Incendiary Cloud: Zone effect, works similar to cloudkill. If you want ongoing AoE damage and are willing to use your concentration, can be handy.
Dominate Monster: Dominate is always nice and this affects almost anything. Long duration means it can be good as an out of combat spell as well, for plot or RP purposes. Just remember it takes concentration.
Power Word Stun: Stun is pretty awesome, and 150 HP threshold isn’t too bad. If you stun something that the rogue and fighter are about to pound on, it shouldn’t really get the chance to try a save next turn anyway.
Earthquake: Useful as a longer range zone effect or to take down structures. Really depends on your campaign if it comes in handy or not.
Sunburst: A good effect, but I’d much rather cast a 6th level sunbeam that I can repeat every round for free and does the same effect with slightly less damage.

EE Players Companion:
Abi-Dalzim’s horrid wilting: The classic necromancer AoE returns. Constitution save or 10d8 necrotic. Not bad but not spectacular for a level 8 slot.

Level 9
Some good options here. Like wish. And maybe wish. And oh yeah, you should probably take wish.

Gate: Can be useful for travel or summoning, but very dependent on DM and other conditions.
Meteor Swarm: Really good damage even for a level 9 spell, and huge area. Unless your campaign has you fighting an actual army or, sieging a castle or something, you probably don’t really “need” this.
Power Word Kill: Anything that is under 100 HP should be quite killable by you or anybody else within the next few turns at this level anyway. Exception might be special low HP monsters that are extremely hard to hit or damage… if they even exist? Would need to see the monster manual.
Time Stop: Restrictions on stacking buffs in 5th edition, and not being able to attack anything makes this spell much less useful than it used to be.
Wish: The best spell in the game for a class whose main drawback is limited spell selection. Being able to copy any level 1-8 spell at no cost is just too good to pass up, especially for a Sorcerer.

Running out of space so I’ll only rate some that might be applicable.

Alert: Useful for anyone, though not required.
Actor: Only +1 Charisma feat, and some nice RP benefits. Take if you have an odd number charisma anyway.and like the benefits
Crossbow Expert: Not for you. The elimination of the penalty for range in melee is OK, but not required.
Elemental Adept (Dragon, Storm, Wild Mage, Favored soul): Must have for Dragons and Storm, probably at 12 or sooner if you get your charisma to 20. Wild mages and Favored souls aren’t really reliant on one damage type unless you chose to be for some reason.
Healer: Can be nice to have another healer around.
Inspiring Leader: Nice boon that is based on your best stat.
Linguist: If you are the party face so might make use of this.
Lucky: Good for anybody.
Magic Initiate: A great way to pick up another classes cantrip, or first level spells like hex, or cure wounds. (Mike Mearls recently confirmed you do “learn” the spell if you are a caster)
Observant: Bonuses to Perception are nice.
Resilient: Can be a good pickup with Dexterity or Wisdom saves. I would go Wisdom first.
Ritual Caster: Remember all those low level ritual spells you wanted to take but couldn't fit on your list? You just added potentially 17 wizard utility rituals to your spell list. Requires 13 Intelligence or Wisdom. Wizard is probably the best pick. Note that some games rituals may not get a lot of use (hint: if you don’t make an effort to use them and suggest them to your party, they won’t get used), so your mileage with this may vary.
Skilled: You probably already have enough skills, especially if you followed my advice and made a half elf.
Spell Sniper: Sounds great but eventually you should have enough save targeting spells that you can find ways around cover most of the time..
Tough: More hitpoints are nice but I wouldn't bother unless I rolled crappy HP for a bunch of my levels or had to dump Constitution for some reason.
War Caster (Favored Soul, esp fighter/mage types): A decent feat, mainly for the bonus to Constitution saves, although you should already be decent at those. The AoO will probably be rare and you probably don't use weapons or shields unless you multiclassed into it.

Unlike in past editions, multiclassing for a primary caster is in no way a trap. This is for two reasons:

Your spell slots stack in all casters except the Warlock. You still delay higher level spells known as those are treated separately for each class, but you can still get slots of each spell level without delay for Bards, Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers and Wizards.

The other reason is that while level 6, 7, 8 and 9 spells are mostly great, for all of these levels you only have 1 slot per day for most of your career. Level 6 and 7 only get a 2nd at 19 and 20, and level 8 and 9 never do.

For this reason I advise against building your character around level 7-9 spells, or forgoing beneficial multiclass dips purely to preserve your access to these.

The main reasons to multiclass a Sorcerer are to gain desired class features of your target class, usually at 2, 3 or 6. The other reason that is especially pertinent for Sorcerers, is to add some extra spells to their meager list.

Even if a few levels of a class only gives you level 1 and 2 spells, those are all potentially spells that might overlap with your own low level spells, and free you up to drop one of those low level Sorcerer spells and retrain to a better level 3-6 spell. Never forget that this is the biggest thing you need to do on the Sorcerer side after dipping into another caster class!

Lets look at some options.

(I'm working on this, I just wanted to mention bard and warlock first because they have such good "full caster" synergy. I'm aware there are many other good options and I will try and cover some of them as I have time).

Bard (6): Not only do you get a great spell selection, but you get some great class abilities as well.

Bard 6 is the sweet spot, especially if you go Lore bard. This gets you 11 spells known (including 2 from any list) while losing only 2 if you still go Sorcerer 14. Smart retraining on the Sorcerer side means you now have a Sorcerer with 24 spells, 3 more skills, expertise in 2 skills, Cutting Words, as well as Bardic inspiration that still does d8 dice and recharges on a short rest, and countersong.

Not a bad deal at all.

Warlock (3): Warlock 3 gets you Eldritch blast with agonizing blast, as well as four spells known including Hex. If you go Tome pact, 5 more cantrips including 3 from any list, and free ritual casting that applies to every ritual in the game…

Oh and you don’t give up any Sorcerer spells known for it, still have level 9 spells… Why would I ever play a single class warlock? (see my upcoming warlock guide to find out why)

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First Post
Multiclassing question: does it make sense to take storm Sorc and multiclass 1 lvl life domain (to get heal spells and heavy armor?) and then take warlock 2?

and why is favoured soul golden? i miss the powerlevel. 2 Attacks? or only the added known spells?


Thanks for the guide. Sadly it doesn't show up clearly for those of us using the legacy skin due to the text colour :(


Devil of Chance
Favoured Soul is golden by virtue of the fact that it gets to know 25 spells (the standard 15 + the 10 domain spells), but most of the other stuff is at least light blue, so it is al around very good.


Devil of Chance
Its not necessarily more important, but a large majority of the vocal playerbase seem to believe that the sorcerer getting these spells is the nicest feature. TBH, I think the armour is the most important feature of this class, as it increases the survivability of the d6-HD class


First Post
Its not necessarily more important, but a large majority of the vocal playerbase seem to believe that the sorcerer getting these spells is the nicest feature. TBH, I think the armour is the most important feature of this class, as it increases the survivability of the d6-HD class

Eh, armor is so easy to get.
* Mage Armor - better than any light armor (or draconic sorcerer gives similar)
* Start with a level of fighter - constitution save, more hit points, all armors + shields + weapons, health regen, AND a fighting style (which could even just be +AC).

Extra spells, on the other hand - there is no way to get those without extensive multi-classing that negates higher level sorcerer abilities/spells

*edit* Also the armor you get isn't really enough to negate the sorcerer's poor HP if you want to be in melee. You really need something like what the bladesinger gets


Eh, armor is so easy to get.
* Mage Armor - better than any light armor (or draconic sorcerer gives similar)
* Start with a level of fighter - constitution save, more hit points, all armors + shields + weapons, health regen, AND a fighting style (which could even just be +AC).

Extra spells, on the other hand - there is no way to get those without extensive multi-classing that negates higher level sorcerer abilities/spells

*edit* Also the armor you get isn't really enough to negate the sorcerer's poor HP if you want to be in melee. You really need something like what the bladesinger gets
Take a level of cleric. You get armor, shields, spells, and slots.


First Post
Take a level of cleric. You get armor, shields, spells, and slots.

True, true - I always forget this is an option ... I think mostly because I don't like playing clerics. :p

I'm not sure if 1 level of cleric is more optimal (no delayed spell slot progression, proficiencies/useful abilities, etc), or 2 levels of fighter for action surge.

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