Wizards have access to the most powerful spells in the game. In fact, Wizards have the potential to learn every spell in the game. They have the most spell slots out of all the magic users and can be powerful allies on and off the battlefield. Today we’re looking at the DnD Wizard Subclasses 5e.
Table of Contents
Wizard Schools of Magic
Wizards gain spells through intense study and their subclasses, Schools, reflect this. Each School of Magic specializes in a different type of magic and allows Wizards to focus their studies. It’s similar to your major in University or College in the real world.
Here is our ranked list of the Wizard Schools in 5e DnD:
- #13 – School of Graviturgy Magic
- #12 – School of Transmutation
- #11 – School of Enchantment
- #10 – School of Conjuration
- #9 – School of Illusion
- #8 – School of Bladesinging
- #7 – School of Necromancy
- #6 – School of War Magic
- #5 – School of Chronurgy Magic
- #4 – School of Abjuration
- #3 – School of Evocation
- #2 – Order of Scribes
- #1 – School of Divination
#13. School of Graviturgy Magic
The School of Graviturgy Magic can be found in Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount.
Graviturgy Magic Features
Graviturgy Wizards focus on the natural forces of gravity. They can alter the weight and density of objects to control the field of battle. They can alter the weight of various items making them light as a feather or heavier than a boulder.
Pros of Graviturgy Magic
Graviturgy magic allows for some very niche and unique spells. Very few other classes have access to abilities like this and it offers some creative solutions in the game.
Cons of Graviturgy Magic
As fun as these spells are, they have limited use. There’s nothing quite like a moment in which altering the gravity saves the day, but those moments are few and far between.
#12. School of Transmutation
The School of Transmutation can be found in the Player’s Handbook.
School of Transmutation Features
The School of Transmutation offers spells and abilities that alter the physical form and appearance of different objects. They can change a wooden door to solid steal, or silver into gold. Think of the old myths of alchemists that are able to alter the actual properties of objects.
Pros of the School of Transmutation
The School of Transmutation offers a lot of fun ways to solve problems. Their ability to alter the physical form of objects can easily allow players to get in and out of areas by simply turning walls into sand.
If you’re creative enough and you have a DM that rewards that creativity you’re going to have a lot of fun with their abilities.
Cons of the School of Transmutation
If you read the pros, you might notice the big if. If the DM allows that creativity you’ll be able to have fun with the abilities. The School of Transmutation abilities also aren’t that exclusive. The same effects can be done using other spells and abilities which makes specialization in the School of Transmutation redundant.
#11. School of Enchantment
The school of Enchantment can be found in the Player’s Handbook.
School of Enchantment Features
Not to be confused with the enchantment of magical items, the school of enchantment is all about beguiling those around them. Whether it’s an NPC at a shop or getting enemies to turn on their allies, the School of Enchantment offers a wide variety of hypnotizing and charming spells.
Pros of School of Enchantment
The School of Enchantment Wizard focuses entirely on charming NPCs and enemies. They can act as the party leader by simply magically forcing anyone they encounter to like them without specializing in Charisma.
Cons of School of Enchantment
The abilities of the School of Enchantment are decent but lackluster. They have a very specific scope that they can use them in and overall it comes out to being mediocre at best. Being able to charm someone is useful, but in most situations, a character with decent Charisma can do the same thing without choosing a specific subclass for the results.
#10. School of Conjuration
The School of Conjuration can be found in the Player’s Handbook.
School of Conjuration Features
As you might imagine the School of Conjuration focuses on conjuring other things for various effects. It’s not simply summoning creatures to do your bidding, but these Wizards are able to conjure objects and teleport as part of their core abilities.
Pros of the School of Conjuration
The School of Conjuration offers another asymmetrical look at problem-solving. Anything that the conjurer needs can simply be summoned out of thin air. It’s incredibly fun to RP and is one of the more standard Wizard builds that everyone including new players can easily grasp and understand.
Cons of the School of Conjuration
A lot of the more powerful conjurations are only available at higher levels. This makes the Wizard less useful at low levels and can be unappealing to some players.
In addition, the Conjuration Wizard relies heavily on spells that can be easily dismissed by other powerful spellcasters.
#9. School of Illusion
The School of Illusion can be found in the Player’s Handbook.
School of Illusion Features
If you want to alter reality and mess with your opponents then the School of Illusion is a good choice. They specialize in creating and manipulating illusions to confuse and deceive your opponents.
It could be as simple as creating a false wall to hide or creating an illusory doppelganger to fight alongside you and soak up hits.
Pros of the School of Illusion
Illusion spells are great utility spells that most Wizards can make use of. The School of Illusion supercharges those spells and makes all of their illusions more potent. They can manipulate illusions and make them move as if they were real.
Cons of the School of Illusion
This particular wizard school can be very complex. The spells and abilities are very open-ended and you need to have a creative player to make the best use of their skill set.
The Bladesinging Subclass can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.
The Bladsinger gets boosts to AC speed and adds their intelligence modifier to their attack rolls. This allows a spellcaster to actually fight in melee range.
Pros of Bladesinging
Their Blade Song grants quite a few bonuses that are necessary to make the Wizard useful up close in battle, and they still have all of their standard Wizard spells at their disposal.
In the right hands, they can do a lot of damage. This gives the Wizard the opportunity to burn all of their most powerful spells and still be useful in combat.
Cons of Bladesinging
Bladesinging requires a lot of balance. They’ll need Intelligence, Constitution, and Dexterity to really make the class work.
As much as Blade Song boosts their stats and abilities, the Wizard still only has a small amount of health and a few lucky shots can still bring them down.
#7. School of Necromancy
The School of Necromancy can be found in the Player’s Handbook.
School of Necromancy Features
Necromancers are feared throughout the land. They delve into dark magics to find the secrets to immortality.
Their intention isn’t always evil. Many begin the study of Necromancy to save either themselves or loved ones, but few rarely stay on the side
Pros of the School of Necromancy
Necromancers are actually one of the tankier Wizard subclasses. Their Grim harvest ability lets them regain hitpoints whenever they use a necromancy spell to kill one or more creatures.
This can actually be cheesed a bit by carrying around a sack full of rats ready to be blasted away in case of emergencies.
Cons of the School of Necromancy
There’s no doubt that Necromancers are cool. It could however mess with the party dynamics, especially if you raise a formerly deceased party member as a zombie to use as a human shield. Not that I’ve ever tried.
Necromancers are typically evil and that could cause some strife in an RP game. Finally, if a Necromancer ever gets in a fight with a Cleric, the Cleric is going to wreck them.
#6. War Magic
The School of War Magic can be found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
War Magic Features
With a name like War Magic, you would think that these Wizards would be powerhouses on the battlefield. It’s a bit of a deceptive name since Wizards have access to world-shattering spells to begin with.
Instead, the School of War Magic trains their Wizards to be useful on the battlefield by granting them defensive boosts.
The War Magic Wizards’ philosophy is typically, “What use is being able to cast a fireball at my enemies if I’m dead before I can even finish the spell?”
Pros of War Magic
The War Magic Wizards do have some nice bonuses to AC which makes them much more durable in battle. They also are able to store charges of magic that they can expend to deal additional damage when making a spell attack.
Overall it’s a nice balance between survivability and damage dealing.
Cons of War Magic
These Wizards are trained for war. A lot of the utility spells and abilities won’t be available with these builds, so your character is typically solely geared out for combat.
#5. Chronurgy Magic
The School of Chronurgy Wizards can be found in the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount.
Chronurgy Magic Features
Chronurgy Wizards are time Wizards. Not to be confused with Time Lords.
These Wizards can manipulate time in simple ways like adding a bonus to their initiative, but it can also get extremely complex. They can trap enemies in time stasis and cast spells into tiny motes. Whoever is holding the mote can then cast the spell using the Wizard’s stats like a time-delayed bomb.
Pros of Chronurgy Magic
Chronurgy Wizards have some really interesting abilities that are extremely useful on and off the battlefield and can be used extremely creatively. Their ability to store spells and allow other players to use them is incredibly powerful and their crowd-control abilities are fantastic.
Cons of Chronurgy Magic
Their abilities only have a few slots, so expect to need to take long and short rests often.
#4. School of Abjuration
The School of Abjuration can be found in the Player’s Handbook.
School of Abjuration Features
Abjuration magic is one of the standard schools of magic. Abjuration spells typically block, banish, and protect. They have some fantastic defensive spells and are akin to Exorcists that banish unwanted spirits or magical effects.
Pros of the School of Abjuration
Abjuration spells have high defensive properties and School of Abjuration Wizards have access to the most powerful Abjuration spells.
They’re much more defensive than other Wizards and have a lot more survivability. They’re similar to War Magic Wizards but specialize more in defense vs. attack.
Cons of the School of Abjuration
Their specialization does come with a price. Their offensive capabilities are diminished in favor of their defensive spells.
#3. School of Evocation
The School of Evocation Wizard can be found in the Player’s Handbook.
School of Evocation Features
Evocation spells are the bread and butter of most Wizards. These spells allow Wizards to conjure up lightning, freezing cold rays, and of course the classic Fireball!
Evocation Wizards are better at casting these spells than any other wizards and have the ability to pick and choose who gets hit with them, even if you have allies in the area of effect.
No more friendly fire.
Pros of the School of Evocation
The School of Evocation is a standard damage-focused Wizard with excellent abilities. They’re perfect for the type of player that wants to blast everything with fireballs and they get powered-up versions of their cantrips so the evocations never stop.
Cons of the School of Evocation
Where Abjuration and War Magic focus on defense, the School of Evocation is all about offense. They typically won’t have any utility spells and are walking cannons.
#2. Order of Scribes
The Order of Scribes can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron to Everything.
Order of Scribes Features
Most Wizards like books, but the Order of Scribes actually makes friends with theirs. Their spellbooks become sentient beings that can be used on and off the battlefield.
A manifestation of the spellbook can appear to scout for the Wizard or just to provide some reading light. If held in battle it also acts as a focus, and its spirit can be used to soak up damage.
Finally, the Order of Scribes are more adept at creating magical scrolls and it’s much easier and cheaper for them to create.
Pros of the Order of Scribes
Order of Scribes offers a lot of useful abilities and their ability to easily make magical scrolls make them valuable members of any party. All of their abilities will be useful both on and off the field.
Cons of the Order of Scribes
This subclass is a little more advanced and requires a bit of creativity and understanding of the rules to utilize it properly. New players might not get the most out of Order of the Scribes simply due to inexperience.
#1. School of Divination
School of Divination can be found in the Player’s Handbook.
School of Divination Features
The School of Divination is one of the most powerful schools of magic in DnD. They have the ability to see briefly into the future and their Divination abilities allow them to alter the results of the dice.
In addition to this, their familiarity with Divination spells lets these Wizards cast their spells with reduced cost. This allows them to cast more divination spells between rests.
Pros of the School of Divination
A party with a School of Divination Wizard will always have forewarning of any dangers they’re about the face. This is a huge advantage in combat, and their Expert Divination ability lets them cast way more spells than they normally would.
Cons of the School of Divination
They won’t be the powerhouse of the party like a School of Evocation Wizard, but their usefulness in preparing for a battle more than makes up for it.
Before starting GameCows with his wife Kendra, he used to teach English Language Arts in the US. He combined his love of gaming with education to create fun game-based learning lessons until he eventually decided to run GameCows with Kendra full-time. He’s known for pouring over rulebooks in his spare time, being the rule master during game night, and as the perma DM in his DnD group. Bryan loves board games, writing, traveling, and above all his wife and partner in crime, Kendra.