D&D 5E Thoughts on Absorb Elements vs Shield on a 4-level Arcane Trickster dip


This is just incorrect. While there is some overlap between the bard list and the wizard list it is not a rule that bards also have access to all 1st level wizard illusions and enchantments. They are not wholesale on the bard list.

There is 100% overlap with all of the Wizard Illusion and Enchantment spells of 1st level.

Here are the 1st level Wizard class Illusions and Enchantments:
Color Spray
Charm Person
Disguise Self
Illusory Script
Silvery Barbs
Silent Image
Tasha's Hideous Laughter

As an Arcane Trickster I need to take two of these spells at 3rd level and another one at 4th level. All of these spells are on the Bard spell list.

There are some enchantments on the Bard list that are not on the Wizard list (Dissonant Whispers and Heroism), but any spell I could take in place of Silvery Barbs, I can get as a Bard.

Your rogue spells are from the wizard list with some restrictions - 2 of the 3 need to be from the illusion or enchantment. That one that is not can be one of the three spells you were looking at: Shield, Absorb Elements, or Silvery Barbs. But only one of them.

Silvery Barbs is from the Enchantment school, so it counts as one of the 2 spells from the Enchantment school. I can get Silvery Barbs (from the Wizard Enchantment list) and then also get one of the other two spells - Shield or Absorb Elements.

At 3rd level Rogue for example I get 3 spells. I can take the following spells:
Disguise Self (Illusion)
Silvery Barbs (Enchantment)
Absorb Elements (free-choice Abjuration)

So, for me, that makes the opportunity cost of picking up Silvery Barbs as your one arcane trickster free-choice spell too high.

I am not picking it as a free choice spells. I am picking it as one of my Enchantment/Illusion spells, all of which are on the Bard list. I am going to have Silvery Barbs in addition to either Shield or Absorb Elements.

To humor me - what Enchantment or Illusion spell would you pick instead of Silvery Barbs?
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Hideous Laughter, Silent Image (good for bonus action hiding behind), Disguise Self.
FWIW I am planning to get Silent Image and Disguise Self as the other two in addition to SB. Hideous Laughter would be better as a Bard since Intelligence is my dump stat.

The point is though that no matter what I pick I need to pick something on the Bard list because all the Wizard Enchantment and Illusion spells of 1st level are also Bard spells.

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