Top 10 D&D Best Wizard Spells (5th Edition)

 D&D Best Wizard Spells
Keep your companions buffed.

Greetings, adventurer! This time around, we are going to make a list of the top 10 best wizard spells you’ll definitely want prepared for a well-rounded mage.

Wizards can wreak some serious havoc from the back row. But in lower levels, just one well-placed arrow will make them hit the mat faster than you can say zap! That’s why you must have a balanced combination of spells that allow you to hurt enemies and buff allies without dying in the process.

In this list, I will show you the combination of spells you need, starting from level one, in order to best shield your wizard and help your fellow adventurers in and out of combat.

10. Mage Armor

Arrow-proof vest.

1st - level abjuration. Touching a creature with no armor grants it a base Armor Class (AC) of 13 + Dexterity Modifier for the next eight hours, until the spell is dismissed as an action, or the target puts on armor.

Imagine your wizard in the midst of combat, flinging fire bolts. Suddenly, an arrow comes whistling through the air right for his or her heart, only to break or bounce against seemingly ordinary robes. That’s why this is one of the best, must-have spells in your wizard’s arsenal it makes up for the wizard’s lack of armor proficiency when casted on his or herself.

Just remember to amp  up your Dexterity score so that when you cast this spell, you’ll end up with robes as strong as chain shirts, scale mail, or breastplates.

Mage armor comes into play mostly during battle.

  • Mage Armor is used as protection for the character the same way other classes use armor.
  • If the wizard gains  proficiency in armor by multiclassing, Mage Armor could be used on another creature that isn’t wearing any.

9. Find familiar

Every spellcaster needs a friend.

1st - level conjuration (ritual). You summon a celestial, fey, or fiend that takes the shape and stats of an animal you pick. It can be a bat,  a crab, a frog (toad), a hawk, a lizard, an octopus, an owl, a poisonous snake, a fish (quipper), a rat, a raven, a seahorse, a spider, or a weasel.

These spirits have dozens of applications for creative wizards, but it can also be a helpful ally in battle. See, familiars roll their own turns for battles and, though they cannot attack, they can still take actions. Alternatively, you can use their reactions to cast a touch spell on another creature, buffing allies or debuffing enemies.

If the familiar falls the 0 HP, it just poofs into oblivion. But you can always whip your familiar out again by casting the spell one more time.

The cool thing about familiars is that they really come in handy when roaming the wilds or crawling through dungeons.

  • Send your familiar to scout ahead for you. As long as you stay within 100 feet of it, you can use an action to see and hear through the senses of your familiar. It’s like having a natural drone.
  • Want to travel light? Dismiss your familiar into a pocket dimension.
  • Caged behind enemy lines? Summon it back within 30 feet of you and telepathically command it to get you the keys.
  • Want to eavesdrop on a conversation? Cast the spell again and change its animal shape to something more discreet, like a rat or a lizard, in order to spy on unsuspecting targets.

8. Haste

A real get-dex-quick scheme.

3rd – level transmutation. Cast this on a creature within range to double its speed. In addition, the target gets a +2 bonus to its AC, advantage on Dexterity Saving Throws, and best of all, an extra action on each of its turns which it can use to attack, dash, disengage, hide, or  use an object..

Now imagine just how much damage your party could inflict to a boss if you were to cast this on martial classes of level five and up. Keep in mind one of the main roles of the wizard is to buff allies and/or debuff enemies.Well, besides raining hell fire on the battlefield.

Here’s the catch: once the spell ends, the target will be so tired it won’t even be able to move or take actions until its next turn. Still, a minute of unshackled melee attacks against the enemy can certainly give your party and edge for the rest of the fight.  

Haste is best used when:

  • Fighting multiple enemies or a boss.
  • Helping the slowest member of the party run faster to escape traps.

7. Web

Stop them in their tracks.

2nd – level conjuration. Spin a web anywhere within 60 feet of you and for a whole hour, that area becomes difficult terrain. The webs cover a 20-foot cube placed between at least two surfaces, or make a 5-foot deep layer of web on a flat surface. If the webs are not anchored, they will collapse and disappear at the start of your next turn.

Any chance you get to slow down an enemy, take it. And what better way to do so than sticking them up with flammable spider web? That’s right. You can light it up and watch that target take 2d4  fire damage. Don’t go full-on pyro though. Any 5-foot cube of web on fire will burn away in a round, thus setting the target loose…scorched, but loose.

Targets who enter or start their turn in the web must succeed on a dexterity saving throw or be restrained. They can roll a Strength check against your Spell Save DC to break free.

  • Restrain your enemies and leave them open for your party to attack.
  • Cast it behind you when escaping a swarm of enemies.

6. Slow

Slow-mo without the camera trick.

3rd level – transmutation. Pick a maximum of six creatures in a 40-foot cube within range. Each creature must roll a Wisdom Saving Throw. If they fail, their speed is cut down by half. They also can’t  use reactions, and their AC is reduced by 2 points. They also take a minus 2 to Dexterity Saving Throws, plus they’re limited during their turn to a single Action or a Bonus Action.

If the creature was about to cast a spell with a duration of one Action, you can roll a d20. If you get 11 or more, the spell comes into effect on the creature’s next turn, during which it must use its action to finish the spell. The target can make another Wisdom Saving Throw at the end of its turn to end the spell..

I know, it is quite a lot to remember, but the results are worth it. This spell not only slows the enemy down, it also restricts its actions, which messes spellcasters up big time.

  • Give the party a boost while fighting multiple enemies.
  • Move between affected enemies and help an ally without triggering opportunity attacks.

5. Fly

The safest way to travel.

3rd – level transmutation. Touch a creature and grant it a flying speed of 60 feet for 10 minutes.

In D&D, being powerful is not just about how much damage you can deal in one blow. It’s also about survival and being helpful to the team by doing things few other players can. Flying is one those things, and the best part is that it comes in handy in virtually every scenario you can possibly imagine.

Whether it is exploring trap-infested ruins, or steering clear from a werewolf while blasting it from above, this spell will give you and your party a better chance at survival.  

Here are some specific situations where you might find this spell useful:

  • Avoiding booby-traps on the floor.
  • Hovering over difficult terrain or unsuspecting enemies.
  • Getting to a better vantage point while in combat.
  • Reaching objects or places easily.
  • Getting a fellow adventurer away from trouble.
  • Sending the whole party flying at the expense of higher spell slot.

4. Fireball

In the heat of the moment.

3rd – level evocation. You cause an explosion in a point within range. Every creature in a 20-foot radius Sphere must make a Dexterity Saving Throw or take 8d6 fire damage.  The target takes half as much on a successful save.

Almost any spell after level 5 is incredibly powerful, but there are a couple crazy harmful ones among the lower levels that you’ll want to jot down, starting with Fire Ball. Capping at 60 points of potential damage to an unlimited amount of creatures in a dome of fire, this spell is bound to make the fight a whole lot shorter, if it doesn’t outright finish it.

This is spell not only burns creatures, it also sets flammable things that are not held or carried on fire. You can use that fire in the environment to your favor.

  • Trip enemies into flames.
  • Light up arrows.
  • Help players without the darkvision trait.
  • Try the DM and role-play a blackmail situation where you threaten to destroy something important to the enemy.

3. Chain Lightning

Shock and awe.

6th – level evocation. Fire a lightning bolt into a target and harm two other targets within 30 feet of the first one. The targets take 10d8 damage on a failed Dexterity saving throw, or half as much on a successful one. Expend a 7th level spell slot  for an additional lightning bolt and three more targets.

Right around the time you turn into an 11th level wizard, you’ll start to face monsters with about 130 hit points each, like abominable yetis. Imagine softening down three yetis only to let your party do the rest and finish the fight in two to three rounds. That’s an easy 15,000 XP encounter right there.

  • Not much use for this one except  zapping enemies.

2. Mass Suggestion

These ARE the spells you're looking for.

6th – level enchantment. Instruct 12 creatures of your choice within 60 feet that can understand you to perform an activity (described in a sentence or two). If they fail on a Wisdom saving throw, they carry out your instructions. But if they succeed, or the instructions are clearly suicidal (like stabbing themselves), the spell ends.

This spell could determine the outcome of a game in really creative and fun ways. You could convince a creature to trade the rare item you need to complete the quest for your “far-more-precious magic amulet,” which in reality is just a common trinket you bought at a flea market.

The trick here is to use a lie that sounds reasonable or suggest a harmless activity that favors you. Now apply the same principle to a group of creatures and soon you’ll have guards abandoning their posts to go for a swim, a counsel of tyrant rulers giving away their fortune to the poor, and so on.

Get creative and you could:

  • Disarm enemies.
  • Obtain rare items.
  • Rescue hostages.
  • Skip battles.

1. Wish

Careful what you wish for.

9th – level conjuration. This is one of the ultimate outcome-changing spells that we couldn’t miss in this list. Described as the the mightiest spell a mortal creature can cast, this spell is no joke. It allows you to bend reality to your will.

  • Pull an object out of thin air. The object can’t be worth more than 25,000gp and no bigger than 300ft.
  • Duplicate a level 8th spell without the expensive material components.
  • Grant 10 or fewer creatures  immunity against certain spells. Or give them resistance against a specific type of damage.
  • Restore all the hit points of up to 20 creatures. End any effects they might be suffering.
  • Reroll any roll with advantage. You may choose the new roll or keep the previous one.

Alternatively, you could go the extra mile and wish for something else not described in the rules. But remember: the more outrageous the wish, the higher the chance of it going terribly wrong.

You must be careful with the wording of your wish, or else the DM could turn it against you. Let’s say you wish the enemy never existed; if you’re not specific, the DM could teleport you to another reality where the enemy never existed.

One more thing, once you cast it, you will take 1d10  necrotic damage for every spell you cast after your wish until make a long rest. Use it wisely.

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These are the top 10 best wizard spells in D&D 5th Edition in terms of versatility and damage. But feel free to try any combinations you like. Much of this depends on the Dungeon Master, the campaign, and the assortment of players, but it’s safe to say these spells cover all the bases for great wizards who play well with others and can still hold their own.

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Alex is a writer living in New Orleans, where it's much too hot to do anything but play Apex Legends. His fiction and essays have been published in multiple magazines and journals.
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Monster Hunter World, Persona 5, Apex Legends, Battlefield V, Fallout 76,
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RiceBallDreamer 4 months 1 week ago

I love your article. Have you considered making this into a book? Lots of beginners (like me unfortunately) would love to be informed of this stuff while playing! Super helpful and insightful though!