D&D 5e Wizard Class Guide
What are Wizards?
Unlike most spellcasters who know a limited number of spells, Wizards inherently know all spells of their level, and instead choose a predetermined number of spells to prepare whenever they finish a long rest. Wizards have no armor or weapon (other than Simple) proficiencies to speak of. However, given that most other classes lack the sheer breadth of knowledge necessary to bend the rules of time, space, and the elements, I’d say the odds are just about even, wouldn’t you?
As a Wizard, you have a lot of flexibility insofar as your background goes. Many Wizards come from academic or advisory backgrounds, but I think we can all agree that trope’s just about played itself out, can’t we? This is your opportunity to do something a little bit different.
Some questions to get you started:
- How did you acquire your magical abilities?
- Were you born with them?
- Are they the result of a freak encounter with a magical entity?
- This is your superhero origin story.
- However you came by them, how do you feel about your magical abilities?
- Are you afraid of them?
- Does it feel good to wield them? Maybe a little too good?
- To what ends have you employed your magical abilities heretofore?
- Have you sold your gifts to the highest bidder? If so, what kind of work have you done? Mercenary? Healing? Academic? Criminal? The list goes on.
Popular Wizard Builds
Wizards rely heavily on Intelligence, so High Elves always make a solid choice. Not only do they get a +1 bonus to Intelligence and a +2 to Dexterity, they also receive Elf Weapon Training, granting them proficiency with longswords, shortswords, shortbows, and longbows. Gnomes are another natural fit for Wizards, boasting that crucial +2 to Intelligence and a natural affinity for magic.
You may also want to take your school of magic into account when choosing your race. For instance, Wizards who choose the School of Enchantment lean on Charisma as a secondary ability, so choosing a race with a Charisma bonus might be prudent. In that case, Half-Elves are worth a look, as are Tieflings.
My Favorite Wizard Build
Ever one to opt for unorthodoxy, my favorite Wizard class/race combo is the Warforged Wizard. Warforged, of course, are typically more suited to martial classes like Fighters and Paladins. But that’s all the more reason I prefer the idea of a Warforged who uses magic. It raises many intriguing questions off the bat, chiefmost being how they came to be a magic-user in the first place. I also like the idea of the mechanization of magic. A spellcasting Warforged would, I assume, have gained their powers deliberately by the grace of their creator. It gives me a lot of good material with which to build a character as I think about who might have created such a being, and for what purpose.