I love the Merlin archetype, even more so, its modern shift from being a mentor of a hero, to being the hero of the story himself.
So, my favorite Wizards are a youthful knight embarking on a new adventure, with his sword staff in hand − or wand, or better yet, his psionic mind.
D&D tends to go for the premodern Merlin archetype − with long hair, long beard, long dress, and androgynous in an elderly way.
I want my character to be the youthful hero, the clean-shaven Wizard, with crew-cut and masculinity. The Fighter hero look can be Wizard hero look too. Even some muscle. With a Constitution of 14, the Wizard can be quite fit!
This Wizard from Strixhaven is toward the Heroic-Merlin archetype.
Artist: Wylie Beckert Source:Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, alternate cover Personage: Iggwilv/Tasha Rationale: In fact, I know next to nothing about Tasha, since I'm not terribly vested in D&D canon and never cared for her characterizations in the past. But I love the muted aesthetic of this illustration, and the dark fairytale-like imagery depicting her past made me genuinely interested in learning her story.*
* After reading up on the background, I'm still not particularly interested in the lore. But I like the picture, nonetheless.
I always liked this portrait of Iggwilv (although I was never much of a fan of her name!). I also had a player who liked it enough (I was running the players through a different adventure from that issue, which is how she saw the image in the first place) that she decided it would do as a portrait of her own PC, a "witch" (reskinned wizard) named Delphyne Babelberi.