What is your favourite caster or caster build?

Pretty straight forward, what is your favourite caster or caster build (can be multiclass) and why?

Also reasons why ppl might enjoy a certain caster or build can vary wiedly. Maybe you really like the flavour or certain mechanics or the build is min/max power game heavy.

Also this isn’t just a question for players but also DMs. Maybe a certain caster/build has made one of your games really interesting in the past or you brought the full BBG arsenal due to certain very strong wizards :wink:

To start off, for me the most important thing is flavour and rn there are 2 main themes I like on casters (with potential overlap):

  • The Fate Bender: A caster who manipulates fate in a certain way. For ex a grave cleric pushing someone towards death or pulling them away from it. Divination wizard of course, unraveling the weave of destiny and changing it, bending it to their will. Also in a certain way the chronurgy wizard, though for me a little less cause (apart from the Lv14 ability) the Chronurgist doesn’t really understand or manipulate fate but rather plays out a scenario multiple times, hoping for a better outcome every time.

  • The Scholar: Pretty much any caster in pursuit of knowledge. Think of it more like your magic version of a physicist, being able to understand the tiniest particles which make up spells and the weave and then try to influence this very fabric of magic. A great example of this is the knowledge cleric, understanding the world of magic through fate and receiving knowledge directly from a god. And yes I’m looking at you expertise in arcana :wink: Also one of my favourites would be the order of scribes wizard. Especially cause they can change the damage type of a spell. Kinda like playing with the gene code of a spell. Also u can change spells even to physical damage afaik, hello hello dagger ball. Plus the awakened spell book vs a regular one feels like the difference between a book and an AI :smile: Another minor candidate for this category would be the clockwork soul sorcerer. Though a little less so imho since a sorcerer having innate magical abilities instead of acquiring them through study does clash a little bit with the theme of a knowledge seeking scholar.

Also recently had the pleasure of seeing a combination of some of these last friday with a wizard + 1Lv of knowledge cleric. Giving you high intelligence + arcana expertise, creating the ultimate arcana nerd :nerd: which is more or less what I’m planning for my next character. Knowledge cleric dip with order of scribes, chronurgy or divination. Those are the front runners rn :upside_down:

Now I’m curious about your favourite casters/ caster builds :blush:

I generally like the gish playstyle a lot. Thus my favourite caster builds almost always have some martial capability.

  • Bladesinging wizards. Often with a dip for 1 or 2 levels into a different class depending on my stats and the character’s theme.
    2 (or rarely even 3, especially at level 20 for a 17/3 split) of fighter are great for more martial strength and for strong spell combos with action surge. Also, Echo Knight can be really cool flavor-wise, such as for a time-themed wizard or one specialized in a certain element, in which case the echo can be a manifestation of that element.
    1 level of knowledge cleric is great for its additional spells (healing word is very useful on a character who can do a lot of damage with just the Attack action/cantrips) and works particulary well in terms of flavor for a wizard-nerd.
    2 levels of rogue can be interesting for a particularly slippery, quick Bladesinger due to Cunning Action, but it suffers a bit from a bonus action overload. 2 levels of paladin requres great stat rolls, but when you can pull it off, it feels amazing. Once you have witnessed the power of a divine-smiting ancient dragon or planetar, you don’t want to go back. 2 levels of Intelligence-based warlock, if the DM allows that, can be quite cool too as you can combine Eldritch Blast with the Bladesinger’s cantrip-Extra Attack.
  • Melee Sorcerers. Sorcerers also naturally work well for gish builds as they can combine blade cantrips with quickened spell and twinned spell (although since the reprinting in Tasha’s it is not clear anymore if that works RAW or not, with the SCAG versions it was clear that it worked with Booming Blade) for a pseudo-Extra Attack. Of course that consumes sorcery points, thus it works best on tables with only very few daily encounters. Also, quickened spell in general makes sorcerers the best at being actual spellswords, as you can both attack/blade cantrip and cast an actual leveled spell on the same turn - whereas Bladesinging wizards, Swords bards or warlocks with Pact of the Blade have to decide between casting a spell or attacking on each turn. However, melee sorcerers generally require a multiclass to work, as sorcerers by themselves don’t get armor nor weapon proficiencies (although you could make a draconic sorcerer work as a race that grants weapon proficiencies). 2 levels or 6 levels of paladin have great synergy with the sorcerer due to Divine Smite and due to how spell slots scale when multiclassing. Also, you can get some thematically cool spells for your paladin, particularly as a Divine Soul sorcerer. Taking 6 levels sacrifices some spell progression (meaning you won’t ever learn 8th or 9th level spells) for Extra Attack and the Aura of Protection.
    2 levels of Tempest cleric are awesome for a storm-themed gish, as you get the Channel Dvinity to maximize thunder or lighting damage - imagine the power of that on a Chain Lightining for 10d8 damage or even a Meteor Swarm transmuted to thunder. Another advantage of the cleric way is that you can start as a sorcerer for constitution saving throw proficiency and still gain heavy armor proficiency from your cleric levels - whereas the paladin/sorcerer has to choose between either heavy armor or constitution saves.
    Hexblade… oh Hexblade. Has great synergy with the sorcerer, but I prefer it for less melee-focused, more traditional sorcerers simply to give them a cool cantrip and some additional longevity. For a melee sorcerer, it obviously has the benefit of allowing them to focus entirely on Charisma while also granting armor and shield proficiency - but it lacks the martial prowess of a paladin dip or the awesome flavor of the Tempest cleric multiclass… Also, I wish Hexblade’s Hex Warrior trait was part of Pact of the Blade instead, allowing all warlock patrons to be decent with Pact of the Blade in melee… I absolutely loved my Celestial blade warlock Ophelia I played in a game with that houserule, she was awesome.
  • Paladins. I like playing righteous characters and spellswords - so obviously paladins are among my favourite builds. I almost always multiclass them though - like the already mentioned sorcerer multiclass and the obvious Hexblade dip. Part of the reason is that past level 6, paladins simly aren’t that attractive anymore - going into a full caster nets you higher level spells much quicker and these spells make more than up for the loss of the 1d8 extra damage from Improved Divine Smite. Multiclassing into warlock patrons other than Hexblade can work quite well too, such as multiclassing a Conquest paladin into Undead warlock for the fear-related synergy.

I go more for story / setting

and really like Clerics & Warlocks, since often those tie you to the setting

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Hello everyone,

I have two absolute favourites!

Let’s start with my all-time favourite: The Druid. I know druids are a bit unpopular, but I love them.

Where do I start? Utility. Wildshape alone is awesome, need a scout → be a squirel/rat/sparrow, need to be sneaky → be a tiny spider, dumped strength → be an ape with athletics proficiency. The list goes on… just remember, it can give you: burrowing, climbing, swimming and flying speed, blindsight, dark vision, skills you didn’t have, a disguise,… the only limit is your imagination and maybe some source books…

As for utility, you can summon/polymorph almost anything you need later on, and with a prepared spell list you will be ready for any challenge.

Survivability is also great, the D8 and shield proficiency make you much more durable than all other casters except clerics. The armour restriction is not too bad, if you can get to +2 Dex you are good to go. Starting with hide and eventually finding a bone or scale breastplate will give you a solid AC of 19 without any magical items.

Yes, the spell list is extremely concentration heavy and it gets a bit boring when you have to choose all the good concentration-less spells over and over again every day. But most of it is super thematic and there is something for every playstyle. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something cool about being a master of the elements. Fire Shield yourself, Plant Growth on the enemies and then start throwing Tidal Waves at them. Get knocked down? What a shame… you can’t even move one square through the thicket this turn.

For me, Druids are the best mass controllers on the battlefield. Like any high level full caster, with a bit of preparation and some cool ideas, they can set up extremely deadly traps. And for those times when things don’t go as planned… you can always cast some healing words and get the party evacuated by some giant owls!

I played all the subclasses, but in the end my favourite is the Stars Circle. It has everything and fills in where Druids lack power. Star Druids are extremely well-rounded.

I could go on and on, but let’s move on to my second favourite: Sorlock. There are some nice combinations, but for me the best is the Celestial Warlock with the Aberrant Mind Sorcerer. It’s the basis for a cool roleplaying situation, being torn between your two sources of power, or maybe they’re just two sides of one greater being?

Level splits are tricky here, but I like to go 1 in sorcerer, 3 in warlock and the rest in sorcerer again. 3 in warlock gives you either the tome or the enhanced familiar… and both are super useful.

I have written too much already, so I will be brief here: Quickend spell plus eldrich blast with invocations makes you one of the strongest damage-dealers while using very few resources. You can still use your spell slots for social interaction, utility, or healing while blasting everything to death. All while being the face of the group.

You should have noticed by now: I love utility and I want my character to be versatile. I can understand the fascination with specialists, but it is just not for me. These two casters can do it all.

3 hp and a Sleep spell.

Best time you’ll ever have. :slight_smile:

wizard, negative con modifier, roll for hp on character creation, die at character creation… best build :smiley:


Also the shortest time.

I prefer Xala. A lvl 2 fighter, lvl 7 enchantment wizard. Because they’re mine. And it’s fun to play (except when fighting things that are immune to charm)

Ok some trolls have arrived Tersi and H :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :smile:

Also imagine ppl not wanting to get charmed by someone :flushed: PepeHands

PS Takanari is this the famous build which was introduced to me as “The Control Freak” :joy: aka let me incapacitate as many ppl as possible, then use action surge to do it all over again, while at the same time, I’m romantically gazing at someone

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If you view Xala as a control freak, you don’t want to know what my T4 aberrant mind sorcerer, often simply referred to as the Professor, is able to do :smiley: (and, honestly, if I were to tell you, you would take quite some Sanity damage…).

I’m starting to get the feeling arthi, ur the one the party turns to, if they wanna kill the Tarrasque :joy:

PS the YT-er who used the term “control freak” also later pointed out that these days sorcerers are even better at the control playstyle than wizards.

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Heard lots of good stuff bout the stars druid :smiley: when I finally try out the druid class, it is one of the contenders :wink:

Also who doesn’t love a good eldritch canon blaster :heart_eyes:

Highly recommend to give it a try. One thing to add: there is not much you get from druids after level 14. 8th and 9th spells are cool, but here the druid spell list lacks good options. So depending on if / how fast you progress after that, it might be worth multiclassing here. But the capstone feature of druids, the “Archdruid” is insanely good. I would argue that it is the best capstone feature. You gain unlimited wildshape uses… this also counts for stuff like starry form, and additionally all your spells without a consuming material cost become subtle spells. No more counter spells, staying fully incognito, casting as a mosquito, etc. Also unlimited. I didn’t get that far very often, but it feels godlike. Haha

Okay okay, I’ll stop swooning over druid powers!

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Yeah I know what u mean. I’ve also noticed, that I prefer casters sworn to some entity (my warlock sworn to Titania, my grave cleric serving Sehanine). It just gives them a connection to the world around them. Same even goes for wizards for me. It is not just that I like the abilities of the order of scribes wizard, but also the idea of being part of an order, an organization entrenched in the world of Faerûn (or any other world).

That’s also why I prefer more specific deitys for my cleric, like Sehanine over Kelemvor for ex :point_right: elven goddess of death rather than “generic” god of death. Gives a stronger more specific tie to the world. Especially since my grave cleric is an elf.