D&D 5e: Wild Magic Sorcerer Guide
D&D 5e: Wild Magic Sorcerer Guide
Role in the Party
The Wild Magic Sorcerer is possibly the strangest full caster subclass in the game; the d100 table of wacky effects is both the most appealing part of the subclass and a ticking time bomb that can result in instant death for your party.
These features are almost impossible to rank given how almost everything here relies on the dungeon master to facilitate it; their choices and short-term memory determine how often you roll on the Wild Magic Table.
Your role in the party is to be a standard sorcerer with unusually strong control over fate; you’re like a bootleg Divination Wizard. However, unlike a Divination Wizard, you will occasionally explode into flames and die.
The Wild Magic Sorcerer subclass is found in the Player’s Handbook. Click here to pick up your own copy of the Player’s Handbook!
Wild Magic Sorcerer Features
Wild Magic Surge
Starting when you choose this origin at 1st level, your spellcasting can unleash surges of untamed magic. Once per turn, the DM can have you roll a d20 immediately after you cast a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher. If you roll a 1, roll on the Wild Magic Surge table to create a magical effect. If that effect is a spell, it is too wild to be affected by your Metamagic, and if it normally requires concentration, it doesn’t require concentration in this case; the spell lasts for its full duration.
I won’t go over the full list of options on the random d100 table, but there are 50 options and not 100 since every result has two numbers tied to it. Most of them are good like getting a free controlled teleport, some of them just do an insignificant funny thing like turning you blue, and some of them are bad, like the infamous one that casts Fireball centered on yourself.
Normally, a feature with a small chance to instantly kill your level 1 party would be Bad, but… I mean, you picked this subclass to create chaos, so Fireball is like the jackpot. The problem is, even if your dungeon master tells you to roll a d20 after every spell, you only have a 5% chance of getting to roll on the wild magic table every time you cast a spell. If you cast 140 spells over an entire campaign, that’s… 7 rolls on the table. You should be rolling more often than that!
Power-wise, this isn’t significant, but the knowledge that every spell could incinerate everyone in the room or give you an incredible buff is really fun, so this is probably Good overall.
Tides of Chaos
Starting at 1st level, you can manipulate the forces of chance and chaos to gain advantage on one attack roll, ability check, or saving throw. Once you do so, you must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again.
Any time before you regain the use of this feature, the DM can have you roll on the Wild Magic Surge table immediately after you cast a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher. You then regain the use of this feature.
This is somewhat unreliable since the dungeon master is the one that determines how often you get to use this feature, not you. A lot of dungeon masters will probably forget about Tides of Chaos since they have other things on their plate.
However, advantage on anything possibly a few times per day? And your dungeon master, who probably wants you to roll on the table because they love wacky things too, can just have you bypass the d20 roll and automatically get to roll on the lovely Wild Magic table? Yes, please! Players will love this.
Starting at 6th level, you can twist fate using your wild magic. When another creature you can see makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw, you can use your reaction and spend 2 sorcery points to roll 1d4 and apply the number rolled as a bonus or penalty (your choice) to the creature’s roll. You can do so after the creature rolls but before any effects of the roll occur.
Ally rolls a 16 on their save against a DC 17 Disintegrate? Use your reaction and two sorcery points to give them a pass. Does the enemy roll a 15 against your DC 14 Hypnotic Pattern? Use your reaction and two sorcery points to make them fail. Sorcery points aren’t cheap, and creatures don’t always succeed or fail by 1; sometimes you’ll use this to try and increase or decrease a roll by 2-4 and roll too low to affect the result. This is also less useful if you don’t know what the DC of something is. Still, this is a great feature.
At 14th level, you gain a modicum of control over the surges of your wild magic. Whenever you roll on the Wild Magic Surge table, you can roll twice and use either number.
Being able to pick one of two results on the Wild Magic Surge table is delightfully useful; you can avoid all of the worst effects and pick beneficial effects that are more useful for the situation you’re in. You still might not get much out of this in some situations, since sometimes you’ll roll two equally useful or harmful effects, but it’s still a good feature.
Beginning at 18th level, the harmful energy of your spells intensifies. When you roll damage for a spell and roll the highest number possible on any of the dice, choose one of those dice, roll it again and add that roll to the damage. You can use the feature only once per turn.
Bleh! We’re level 18 and we cast Meteor Swarm. We roll 40d6 and roll a 6 on several of the dice. We pick one of those dice. Our 140 damage meteor swarm now deals an extra 1d6 damage. This is horrible! Firebolt doesn’t even benefit from this to any meaningful degree, since they only have just under a 40% chance of actually getting… a single d10 of extra damage. This feature is confusing; you would think the Wild Magic Sorcerer capstone would fit the theme of the earlier features, but this is just… you deal an extra die of damage sometimes.
Rolling on the funny table makes your monkey brain happy.
“why did my entire party turn into charred skeletons wtf” -you thirty minutes into the first session
Also, you don’t have any armor proficiency and your features are fairly DM dependent. If they forget about Tides of Chaos, don’t expect to roll on the table very often.
Best Race Options
Halflings are wacky little fellas who seem like good Wild Magic Sorcerer candidates; the Lucky feature also fits with the fate/luck control aspects of this subclass.
If your DM allows flying races, the Fairy is a good pick. Flight is powerful, and the Wild Magic Sorcerer is sort of fey-adjacent anyway, so the theming works too.
The standard Player’s Handbook Tiefling will let you be the sole survivor of the infamous Fireball Incident thanks to your resistance to fire damage.
Choosing the Right Skills
Sorcerers are a charisma class, so all the charisma skills are useful. Persuasion lets you convince people that you’re safe to have around, Deception will help you lie to the cops when they ask about the burnt corpses, Intimidation lets you terrify people with threats of wild magic, and Performance… eh you can skip that one, it’s not super useful.
Perception is a vital skill for any character, so make sure to pick up proficiency in it. Failing to notice an ambush means you’ll be surprised, and being surprised means you have one less action that you can use to cast a spell that fight, and one less chance to roll on the funny table.
Sleight of Hand and Stealth are useful if you want to do non-magical mischief, and Acrobatics is your skill of choice for escaping grapples and for doing physical things.
Metamagic is fun, but sorcerers don’t get to pick a ton of options; Metamagic Adept lets you pick two more metamagic options and grants you a few extra sorcery points to fuel them, so grab your next two favorites.
Lucky can help you protect your concentration and control fate in general, working brilliantly with the overall theme of this subclass.
Telekinetic gives you a useful non-limited bonus action and lets you do telekinetic mischief with your mind, and it’s a half feat that can boost an odd charisma.
Oops! You killed your entire family with a wild magic Fireball, and you barely survived. Looks like you’ll have to pick the Haunted One background.
Witchlight Hand lets you be a former employee at a fey-themed carnival, and that works brilliantly with your chaotic nature.
Oops! You killed a local tyrant or fended off a horde of goblin bandits with a wild magic Fireball, and you barely survived. At least the townsfolk are thankful, so you now have the Folk Hero background.
One level of Order Cleric is a solid pick for any sorcerer, since it gives you proficiency in all armor, extra spell versatility, and lets you give the rogue an off-turn sneak attack with their reaction if you cast a 1st level or higher spell on them.
Praise the one level Hexblade dip! Everybody loves the armor proficiencies, and at low levels, you can be decent with a weapon since you can use Charisma with it. Take two levels for Agonizing Blast, an invocation that turns your Eldritch Blast into a great damage option that scales with your level. Hexblade’s Curse is also lovely.
If you want to double down on controlling fate, why not snag two levels of the Divination Wizard? Portent is powerful and fun, and Find Familiar is a solid spell.
Would I recommend playing a Wild Magic Sorcerer?
If you’re fine with a tiny chance of exploding into flames and dying, I can safely recommend the Wild Magic Sorcerer. You have some control over everyone’s d20 rolls, have solid sorcerer spellcasting and metamagic, and can roll on the funny table! This is not the strongest sorcerer, not even close; Clockwork Soul and Aberrant Mind compete for that title. Still, you will not regret playing a Wild Magic Sorcerer as long as you remind your dungeon master about your Tides of Chaos.