D&D 5E Should I keep shield prepared on an enchantment Wizard with instinctive charm?

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For me it's simply the fact that once one creature saves, Instinctive Charm is done for the whole day. It's going to stop working sometime during the day. [Edit: This paragraph isn't correct; the ability only stops working on that one creature. But the rest of the post is just fine.]

By level 5, you should be able to prepare 10 Wizard spells, and when you add in the 2+1 that you know from Divine Soul, you've got an embarrassment of riches compared to most spellcasting characters. Spareing one for Shield shouldn't be a massive burden on a day you predict combat or adventuring.

I could see not taking Shield if your character is expected to be the healer of the group, but otherwise, I think it's just too good. Shield is just overwhelmingly potent, especially because it's unique in that it's a level 1 combat spell that remains just as powerful at level 20 as it is at level 1, meaning that it scales unusually well. It always gives +5 AC for a level 1 slot (meaning it gets cheaper as you gain levels). Since your AC typically scales from other sources, that means Shield scales with level without costing higher spell levels to do so.

Thanks. These are good points.

I do have healing word as a Sorcerer (other sorc spells are PEG and Disguise Self). But she is not a healer. Healing word is usually for bringing up allies after they are downed.


I've played 2 enchantment wizards: One from 1 to 20, another from 1 to 15. They were with different DMs and with different groups.

Instinctive charm is generally something you need to set up, and when you do it is a gamble. Shield, on the other hand, is a crutch that you use when you're going to be taking a few attacks unexpectedly.

For both wizards, I only prepared Shield between levels ~ 5 and 9. Before that I needed to have other spells in my prepared slots and relied upon avoiding being the target of an attack for my defense. After 9 I was not being attacked often, and when I was I was able to absorb the damage. Occasionally I'd set up the Instinctive charm intentionally, but that was more for fun than efficiency. On rare occasion I would find that I was in a good position to use it by happenstance - but that was rare.

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