Been a while, but now it’s time for another overview and now’s the sorcerer’s turn. I already made some posts about this class, since it fascinates me in this edition for the first time. So let’s get to it.
This is an overview, so I’ll just categorize each class in certain categories to see how it cuts and give a personal grading. The end-grading won’t count the multiclass-strength in (for obvious reasons) and is more like an overall impression than a mathematical derivation.
Any feature in italic is from a subclass and a abbreviation will say which one (in the sorcerer’s case DB for Draconic Bloodline and WM for Wild Magic). And red features means there is a flaw or a minus in said category.
- Full level for casters
- a lot of cantrips, especially at lower levels
- even few levels can bring some serious spellcasting action, since it brings you Metamagic and Sorcery Points (SP), which functions even with non-sorcerer spells. Twinned Cure Wounds? Splendid! Even though you need some levels to attain enough SP to wield this power without drying out too fast
- Even though the other features are nice, you might consider to not dabbed too much into or outo the sorcerer class, since you want either enough SP to spend or on the other side the better overall spell potencial of another spellcasting class
- outside a rogue, a non-spellcasting/-subclass class doesn’t really make the cut here (rogues can use the DB quite efficiently and some metamagics are pretty useful for a rogue (especially the Arcane Trickster) who wants to dabble into magic (more).
- the capstone is ignorable
- Spellcasting: The offensive potential of the sorcerer’s spellist is horrendous and he get some really juicy spells, even though no sorcerer-only ones.
- Metamagic (Distant Spell): More range means an earlier attack.
- Metamagic (Empowered Spell): Great for re-rolling those 1s and 2s!
- Metamagic (Heightened Spell): Save for half/no damage? Disadvantage on save!
- Metamagic (Quickened Spell): Spell-sling a cantrip after a now bonus action spell. Or use Witch Bolt/Sun Beam and use an action to fire another one at the same turn.
- Metamagic (Subtle Spell): Hard to deny, that your enemies won’t be surprised, if you pull that off while hiding.
- Metamagic (Twinned Spell): Strike more targets!
- Elemental Affinity (DB): Get some bonus damage to your dragon element.
- Dragon Wings (DB): If the front is too loaded, target those spell-casters from above!
- Wild Magic Surge (WM): A lot of options allows you to either increase your damage that round.
- Tides of Chaos (WM): Useful when casting attack spells.
- Bend Luck (WM): Saved by the point? Minus 1d4!
- Spell Bombardment (WM): More damage, as long your dice rolls don’t suck too hard.
- Weapon Proficiency: Like a wizard this edition and the wizard’s choice is pretty bad. Good that you’ll never use weapons at a certain point (most likely 5th level with cantrip damage increase), but until then, DEX-bonus to damage can be more viable to kill kobolds than a 1-X damage value.
- Spellcasting: Mostly a heolp to manage your hit points and such better, not that strong in the ranger’s case.
- Font of Magic: You get a way to create spell-slots on the fly and get SP back, if needed. So if you ever get the feeling, that you rather need more SP than spells (like in the obvious boss fight, were you won’t be able to burn all those and rather wants to kick some asses with your last spells), you can decide to transform then. Right now, without much delay!
- Metamagic (Empowered Spell): Use SP efficiently and make your spells more worth! If your damage sucked on a spell, spend a SP afterwards to re-roll only the bad dice (up to your CHA-mod).
- Metamagic (Extended Spell): Useful if you’re either going into a long encounter (like boss fights), where your 1 minute buffs will wear of during the fight or if you can see reinforcements or a whole second encounter shortly behind coming. Or for exploration stuff.
- Metamagic (Heightened Spell): Do you need the remorse you feel, when wasting a high level spell, because a save? Make it more unlikely!
- Metamagic (Quickened Spell): If you need your action otherwise (like for running away, while wanting to obstruct your foes), this will make some nice action management.
- Metamagic (Twinned Spell): One action for targeting two people with the same spell and using less SP than creating spell slots with Font of Magic (and even higher than 5th level).
- Sorcerous Restoration: Some SP-regaining after a short rest, useful (since you should consider 2 short rests per day, so 8 SP), but lacking compared to other capstones.
- Draconic Resilience (DB): Who needs Mage Armor?!
- Tides of Chaos (WM): Important attack spell you need delivered and don’t have inspiration? Here is your insurance!
- Wild Magic Surge (WM): Ways to recover resources! If you only could control it…
- Bend Luck (WM): Use it after the roll to decide how useful it’ll be. And it will save all kind of resources in any situation where it can actually change the outcome.
- Controlled Chaos (WM): Choose the better result and save or regain resources on the way.
- Font of Magic: Just a minor one, bonus action for this can be sometimes tricky, especially if you want to quicken it or have other stuff to do with your only once per turn bonus action.
- Spellcasting: A nice combinations of debuffs, buffs and other stuff helps much here.
- Metamagic (Careful Spell): Works on every spell which won’t discriminate between allies and foes. Like Circle of Death (for half damage at least) or some of the cool controlling spells, like Fear.
- Metamagic (Heightened Spell): Deliver your debuffs more reliable, spells like Slow will be terrifying this way.
- Metamagic (Twinned Spell): You realize, that you can haste now two allies at the same time? Concentration spells will work so much better!
- Draconic Presence (DB): Debuff your enemies in decent range.
- Bend Luck (WM): Buff or debuff. That is the question!
- Spellcasting: Some protection potential here and even spells which allows you to be a very annoying target, like Mirror Images.
- Metamagic (Distant Spell): Staying some feet away can really, really help and even those touch spells can be delivered at 30ft now!
- Metamagic (Subtle Spell): If the enemy doesn’t see you casting, there is less reason to think, that you’re a sorcerer.
- Draconic Resilience (DB): Hit Point increase is almost as good as getting a higher hit die and higher AC will always be useful.
- Elemental Affinity (DB): Get some resistance vs. your dragon element!
- Dragon Wings (DB): Flying over your opponents makes you a hard target vs. melees and an easy one for ranges and spell-slinger. But since you can decide to fly and position yourself much better this way, this will definitely come in handy.
- Draconic Presence (DB): Those who failed the save won’t attack you anymore when charmed and will have a lot of problems if frightened.
- Tides of Chaos (WM): You want advantage if your life is on the line and often saves and ability checks might be that roll to decide that.
- Bend Luck (WM): Better to lower that attack roll, which would most likely obliterate you.
- Hit points: With the lowest Hit Die (d6), the sorcerer is pretty squishy, which will show over the course of levels.
- Armor Proficiency: None.
- Wild Magic Surge (WM): Tiny chance to fireball your 1st level party to death.
- Spellcasting: At least the basic utility you need is covered, even though not as convenient as others. At least if you remember to take some of your limited known spells for this. And a good amount of cantrips.
- Metamagic (Subtle Spell): Charm a person without any forewarning. Ghost Sound while being talked to, to get a distraction. As long as you only need V and S components, you can spell people without them noticing!
- Dragon Ancestor (DB): Double proficiency bonus (if you are trained in this skill/tool) to CHA-checks to talk with dragons and draconic as language? Since dragons tends to be a bit powerful, ways to talk you out are pretty sweet.
- Dragon Wings (DB): If you can move on the z-axis, you can explore and do much more.
- Draconic Presence (DB): Charmed people are a lot easier to talk to and won’t attack you.
- Controlled Chaos (WM): Even though Wild Surge doesn’t increase your utility per se, this one makes it more useful at least.
- Spellcasting: Too less known spells for being too useful in this department.
- Dragon Ancestor (DB): Since fire is the best choice in synergy with the traits of this subclass and poison and acid are simply bad choices, you will wait until some new spells come out to make these doable choices.
- Wild Magic Surge (WM): Unpredictable, so you can’t count on it, even though there are many good effects there.
Resource Management: Great
Survivability: Bad (WM) to Decent (DB)
As multiclass option for casters, sorcerer is most likely the best choice, bringing the cool metamagics into your other class.
But the sorcerer as a pure class is one, which relies on a good offense potential (even though not necessarily a lot of offense spells) and much more important: To make every action and spell more worth due the use of metamagics over the course and using unused spell-slots to get more SP again. As long as you can manage your resources, the sorcerer will be an overwhelming battery of arcane power, which can adapt the spell potential and prowess to the given situation.
I guess the survivability might be a bit higher, but it really depends which spells are selected and used and which metamagics you have. With Quickened Spells you can buff yourself while firing cantrips to avoid combats, where your buffs takes too much time to make yourself useful, but of you select only one buff as insurance, bad/decent is pretty true. Other classes do just better in this.
What hurts the sorcerer is the fact, that he has the least utility out of all full casters spell-wise (and even the ranger is more broad imo), even though he can learn the most basics arcane utility spells (like teleport, fly, etc.), his selection of spells are limited, not only in known spells, but in learnable spells, too.
If you’re smart, the sorcerer can be a great character, like using Twinned Spells to buff your allies, which might be more useful than just fingering two people to death, erm, meant use Finger of Death on two targets. And even though Wild Magic brings a bit of unpredictability into the game, the Surge table brings some of the best effects you can get, while only few of them are outright horrible (and most will lose some effectiveness, if you can either metamagic them [Careful Spell!!!] or have some hit points to endure them at least).
Not too sure, if I can get around another overview (or any post) tomorrow, but we’ll see.