D&D 5E Who's the Best Arcanist (According to You)

Which Arcane Spellcaster Do You Think is the Best?

  • Arcane Archer

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • Arcane Trickster

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • Artificer

    Votes: 2 3.3%
  • Bard

    Votes: 6 9.8%
  • Eldritch Knight

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sorcerer

    Votes: 4 6.6%
  • Warlock

    Votes: 12 19.7%
  • Wizard

    Votes: 33 54.1%
  • Any (sub)class with the Magic Initiate feat

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • My homebrew! I'll attach it below...

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • I like (or dislike) them all equally

    Votes: 1 1.6%

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Like the title of the thread suggests: which of the following options, in your opinion, is the best arcane spellcaster in D&D?
Vote for the answer that best fits. Tell us all about it, if you like.
 

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Somewhat to my chagrin, the Wizard.

Not because I don't think the Wizard should be that. They absolutely should. It's literally their specialty.

Rather, because the Wizard is incredibly awful at actually supporting the FLAVOR of the class. It doesn't have a single research- or academia-related class feature. It doesn't have anything special with regard to skill or study. Literally the one and only thing it gets which isn't "Cast More Spells" is halving the gold/time costs of copying spells. Not researching--copying. The Wizard is an extremely excellent plagiarist, without a single bit of research-related content. I find this absolutely appalling. It's not like I'm asking for ultra-specialization or something really narrow and specific. This is literally the foundational concept of the class, "person who does academic research to learn spells"!
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Depends how we’re defining “best”. Best in combat? Best out of combat utility? Best narrative? Best expression of its concept? I voted for Warlock because I think it’s the best designed, but I might have voted differently depending on what metric we’re using,
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I dislike them equally.

None of them really make magic feels magical or mystical. Their themes are left nearly untapped, their fluff having barely any incidence on their mechanics! May its because its, like, 4 classes sharing nearly the same spells. The two divine casters dont have the same problem, because even though they overlap somewhat, they are still pretty different.

Wizard, the brain class. Does not have any knowledge related features.
Sorcerer, the magic unbound class. Very limited in actual play.
Bard, the jack-of-all-trade magician. A weird mix-match of druid and enchantment magic, with a lot of skills.
Warlock, the emissary of Outsiders. The testing ground for WotC to test new stuff without offending people who still cares for wizard superiority.

At least the rune knights, arcane archer, phantom rogue, sun soul monk, elemental monk (the non-spell disciplines, at least) all do something different with their magic that re-enforce their thematics.
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
Of the list of those I would allow to continue existing: Artificer, Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, gotta go with the Bard; a good all-around class that actually gets skills at a reasonable level of success, has a pretty well customizable chassis, and is, most importantly, capable of social encounters, it's a good choice.

Warlock is close second.

Wizard auto-loses as its presence alone just plain makes the game worse all around, IMO.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Depends how we’re defining “best”. Best in combat? Best out of combat utility? Best narrative? Best expression of its concept? I voted for Warlock because I think it’s the best designed, but I might have voted differently depending on what metric we’re using,
Correction: depends on how you're defining "best." :)

I went with warlock also, but I approached that conclusion from a different direction. I think it has the best flavor, best style, and best story potential. Stealing magic from extraplanar creatures? Making dark bargains with the Dukes of Hell? Getting trapped in a soul-binding contract with a capricious fey? It's all solid gold.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
At least the rune knights, arcane archer, phantom rogue, sun soul monk, elemental monk (the non-spell disciplines, at least) all do something different with their magic that re-enforce their thematics.
It's true, WotC has given us some good subclass options in recent years, especially for players who want magical ability without spell slots. I really like the Echo Knight (Fighter) and the Way of Shadow (Monk) for that reason.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Correction: depends on how you're defining "best." :)
I figured that might be the case, which is why I gave an answer. But I still wanted to express that I would have preferred more specificity in the question 😜
I went with warlock also, but I approached that conclusion from a different direction. I think it has the best flavor, best style, and best story potential. Stealing magic from extraplanar creatures? Making dark bargains with the Dukes of Hell? Getting trapped in a soul-binding contract with a capricious fey? It's all solid gold.
I agree with you that it’s best in that way as well. I think it’s also the easiest spellcaster to learn to play. And those factors combined make it the best class for new players. Oh, and it’s the best class for 1-on-one play (also due to the built in story potential). Warlock is the best at a lot of things. Maybe at the most things, which would make it the best at being the best!
 




Vaalingrade

Legend
Magic will never "feel magical or mystical" so long as we have a list of defined spells.

You are asking for D&D to be something it can't, and never was, other than when the books were a vast and unknown field to you, rather than dancing on your digital fingertips.
See, I see the issue differently.

Discreet magic can be magical and mystical, it just can't be the only type of magic around.

That' why the wizard poking his robed butt into everything is a problem: nowadays, there are people who both only allow the magical and fantastic to be in the form of discreet spells AND view all discreet abilities as magic.
 

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