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May 14, 2018

Character Build: Wild Magic Support Sorcerer

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The Wild Magic Support Sorcerer

Goals of this Build

Empower Allies and Weaken Enemies

Showcase your friends’ talents by being a support character. Take spells that will make your party stronger and weaken your enemies. Utilize your wild magic  to help change the results of a successful or unsuccessful attack or ability check. Use the sorcerer’s unique metamagic abilities to change your spells to help you accomplish all of this.

Provide Utility In and Out of Combat

Learn spells that will save your party from its environment in and out of combat. Make NPCs easier to talk to with your spells. Provide light in dark caves, slow an ally plummeting to their doom, and alter your enemy’s abilities with your magic.

Support Sorcerer 3.5e D&D

Fun Fact: my first ever 3.5e character was a sorcerer.

Level 1

Class: Sorcerer

Background: Sage or Noble
Note: Background does not make a difference to this build’s success. Pick a background that you find interesting and fits your backstory. These two choices are just my favorites!

Race: Half-Elf, Yuan-Ti Pureblood, Aasimar, Tiefling, or Variant Human
Note: These are my favorite races for a Sorcerer as they all grant a +2 Charisma bonus, or +1 Charisma and a Feat. I personally picked Half-Elf due to its extra skill proficiencies and languages which add a lot of utility and role-playing potential to the character. Fey Ancestry limits your ability to be crowd controlled which is a pretty big deal for a build that thrives on concentrating on buffs/debuffs.

Stats: This was done using point buy. Check out this post if you want to learn more about point buy!

STR: 8 (-1)
DEX: 14 (+2)
CON: 16 (+3) – +1 from Half-Elf
INT: 10 (+0)
WIS: 10 (+0)
CHAR: 16 (+3) – +2 from Half-Elf

Note: Charisma, Dexterity, and Constitution are all necessary for this wild magic sorcerer build. Wisdom is useful for both skill checks and saving throws. Intelligence is used for many of our potential skill checks like Arcana so I felt it deserved a boost. Strength doesn’t particularly help this build as many of the problems that low strength characters have can be solved by our spells.

Saving Throws: Constitution and Charisma
Note: The bonus to Constitution is huge for maintaining concentration on spells in addition to avoiding CC.

Skills: Arcana & Persuasion
Note: These are up to you, but I tend to get the most mileage out of these skills compared to the rest of the list.

Post Level 1

Ability Score Increases (ASIs)

Stat Priorities

Charisma > Constitution ≥ Dexterity >>> Wisdom > Intelligence = Strength

Charisma is our casting stat so allocating our 5 total ASIs into this stat until it is capped out at 20 (+5) is key. Our spell save DC and our spell attack modifier will be increased with each increase to our Charisma modifier.

I typically view Constitution and Dexterity as somewhat even for casters. Constitution gives us more health points and Dexterity increases our AC which is especially low due to the Sorcerer’s lack of armor proficiency. Constitution also affects our concentration checks when we are hit while using a spell that requires concentration. I give the edge to Constitution since this build has so many core spells that require concentration.

However, if you have the feat War Caster, you may want to think about changing your stat priorities. War Caster gives you advantage on concentration checks which is extremely valuable, but will also lessen the need for a max-ed out Constitution score. Having that extra AC and additional points for making Dexterity saving throws is pretty valuable if you’re comfortable with your Constitution.

Feats

War Caster – I’ve already mentioned this as it gives us advantage on Concentration checks which is one of the primary reasons this feat is so great for this build. It also grants you the ability to perform somatic spell components while wielding shields or weapons in both hands. In addition to that, you can also use spell attacks for attack of opportunity attacks against creatures that provoke an opportunity attack.

Lucky – This feat is fantastic for any conceivable build. You gain 3 luck points which you can use to essentially grant yourself advantage on any d20 roll. You may also spend a luck point to give an enemy that is making an attack against you disadvantage. Your luck points are recovered on a long rest.

Magic Initiate – Choose a class (bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, wizard) and you will learn 2 cantrips and a 1st level spell from that list. There are two catches for this feat and that the 1st level spell cannot be cast at a higher level and you must use that class’ spellcasting ability. Regardless, the Cleric list opens up some great options for this build. Grabbing Bless or even Guiding Bolt opens up some great utility. Spare the Dying and Guidance are two great cantrips to pick up too.

Xanathar's Guide to Everything Sorcerers

The spells, metamagic, and play style you use have more weight than the archetype for a support sorcerer.

Class Features

Spellcasting – Level 1+

This is fairly straight-forward. You gain access to the Sorcerer’s Spell List which can be found on page 209 of the Player’s Handbook. You also learn 4 Cantrips at level 1 which will further increase to 6 at max level. As you level you will gain access to new spells, increased spell slots, and more powerful spell levels.

Spell save DC = 8 + proficiency + Charisma modifier
Spell attack modifier = proficiency + Charisma modifier

Each time you level as a sorcerer you can choose one of the sorcerer spells that you know and replace it with a new one. This is an essential feature to keep track of as the weakness of the class is its lack of high level spells compared to a wizard. Many spells will become less powerful or desirable as you level, replace these as you see fit.

Sorcerous Origin – Level 1

The sorcerer can choose its class archetype at level 1. We’re going to be choosing the Wild Magic archetype from the Player’s Handbook. This build’s main feature is to create the possibility of a random effect happening when you cast a spell that’s level 1 or higher. It also has some excellent utility by giving you a resource to gain advantage on any d20 roll. You can also use Sorcery Points to manipulate other creatures and players’ rolls in the form of a buff/debuff.

It’s an extremely fun archetype and has a surprising amount of utility despite having a 2% chance of dropping a fireball on you when you roll on the Wild Magic Table!

Font of Magic – Level 2+

You gain sorcery points which are a unique resource for the sorcerer class. These can be used to create spell slots as a bonus action on your turn. You can also convert unused spell slots into sorcery points equal to the spell slot’s level. See the table below for information on how this works.

Flexible Casting for Support Sorcerer

You can only create spell slots up to 5th level.

Sorcery points are also used for our metamagic options and Wild Magic’s Bend Luck ability. Using your sorcery points is going to be critical for making this build work well.

Metamagic – Level 3, 10, and 17

Metamagic is the crown jewel of the sorcerer. These chosen abilities allow you to use your sorcery points to change the way that your spells work. You start with 2 metamagic options at level 3 and then get an additional at level 10 and 17. I’ve listed my personal favorites for this build below. Personally I would pick Twinned Spell and either Heightened or Extended spell first.

Twinned Spell – This is hands-down the best metamagic for our wild magic support sorcerer. Twinned spell allows you to use a number of sorcery points equal to the spell’s level and have it target a second creature. This spell must only target a single creature. Some spells that work well with twinned spell are Enlarge/Reduce, Polymorph, and Haste.

Heightened Spell – Use 3 sorcery points to give the target disadvantage on the first saving throw of the spell. Spells like Hold Person and Hold Monster will benefit greatly from this metamagic.

Extended Spell – Spend 1 sorcery point to double the duration of a spell. Keep enemies that are crowed controlled by your magic out of the fight for a longer period of time. You could also use it to extend the duration of a buff on your allies. Extended spell is cheap to use and can benefit this build greatly.

Quickened Spell – Spend 2 sorcery points to change the casting time of a spell from 1 action to 1 bonus action. This allows you to use a dodge or disengage action to get yourself out of a bind.

Sorcerous Restoration – Level 20

The sorcerer has a decent level 20 feature. You regain 4 expended sorcery points after a short rest. This gives you some more uses of your metamagic, or some extra points to create a 1-5th-level spell slot.

Class Archetype – Wild Magic

Wild Magic Surge – Level 1

Wild Magic Surge is probably one of the most fun mechanics in D&D 5e. When you cast a spell of 1st-level or higher roll a d20. On a 1, roll on the Wild Magic Surge table which can be found below or on page 104 of the PHB. Admittedly it doesn’t consistently add much in the form of party-wide support, but it’s definitely a mechanic that makes this a fun and unique build.

Wild Magic Table for Sorcerers

Each option on this table has a 2% chance of happening.

Admittedly, there are some awful options that you could roll such as a fireball centered on yourself, casting polymorph on yourself to make you a sheep, and being turned into a potted plant. However, there are also choices such as regaining all expended sorcery points, creatures having disadvantage on spell saves against you, and taking an additional action.

Tides of Chaos – Level 1

This feature allows you to gain advantage on one d20 roll. I’ve mentioned a few times how great having advantage on avoiding CC is a huge bonus to this build. Maintaining concentration is imperative to having this build work properly. Gaining advantage on an ability check is also great as we do have pretty low Strength for doing things like climbing, swimming, or jumping.

When you use Tides of Chaos your DM can decide to make you roll on the Wild Magic table immediately after casting a spell of 1st level or higher. If this happens you can immediately regain Tides of Chaos. If your DM doesn’t do this, it will be regained after a long rest.

Bend Luck – Level 6

You can spend 2 sorcery points to roll 1d4 and apply the number as a bonus or penalty to a creature’s d20 roll. Bend luck is one of the abilities/features that I saw that really worked well with the support sorcerer theme. Being able to force an enemy to miss an attack could be a game-changer for you and your party.

The one drawback about this ability is that from the wording it does not seem like you can use it on yourself. However, we have Tides of Chaos which is considerably more powerful.

Controlled Chaos – Level 14

When you roll on the Wild Magic Table, roll twice. You can pick which number is used. This is great for avoiding the bad outcomes on the table as well as fishing for a better potential outcome.

Spell Bombardment – Level 18

When you roll damage for a spell roll and roll the highest number possible choose that die, roll it again, and add it to the total. This is an o.k. feature but it won’t see a lot of use from us. We won’t be using a lot of damage dealing spells.

Spell List

In the interest of time and the length of this guide, I’ll only be adding which spells I find to be good choices. I will go over the highlights of the overall spell level. The spells that are necessary for this build are written in bold font.

Cantrips

Dancing Lights, Friends, Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Ray of Frost, and Frostbite

The cantrips provide a lot of variety as well as a bread-and-butter damage dealing spell for the class. While we are a support sorcerer, we’ll want at least 1 or 2 options that will allow us to dish out a bit of damage. Ray of Frost in particular is excellent because of its long range and it reduces the target’s movement speed by 10 feet. Frostbite is also a decent option as it gives the target disadvantage on their next weapon attack.

Friends is one of the best cantrips in the game. You gain advantage on all Charisma checks made against the target for 1 minute. This is plenty of time to learn some secret information, or manipulate someone into aiding you in the short-term.

Level 1

Charm PersonComprehend Languages, Feather Fall, Fog Cloud, Mage Armor, Magic Missile, Sleep

Charm person is a more powerful Friends that also lasts a whole hour.

Sleep is one of the most powerful early-game spells in D&D 5e. You can force a group of low HP creatures to drop into sleep and give your party’s melee attackers advantage to hit and automatic critical hits against the sleeping creatures. Unfortunately it does fall off in power very quickly so I would replace it once it stops providing consistent crowd control (CC).

I typically do not take fog cloud early on, but it is an extremely useful spell for escaping a difficult situation.

Magic Missile is included in this list because sometimes having a guaranteed source of damage is very, very useful.

Level 2

Maximillian’s Earthen Grasp, Blindness/Deafness, Enhance Ability, Enlarge/Reduce, Hold Person, Misty Step, Suggestion

This is a huge spell level for a support sorcerer. Maximillian’s Earthen Grasp was added in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and it is a great spell. It gives you the ability to both restrain a target and deal some damage to it. You can continue to damage the target by using your action while you are still concentrating on the spell. Once you gain access to Hold Monster, I’d consider getting replacing this spell, but until then it’s a solid choice.

Enhance Ability is phenomenal for providing utility to yourself or your party. You can provide advantage to any of the ability checks for up to an hour. You can use Twinned Spell or a higher level spell slot to target an additional creature.

Enlarge/Reduce is your first combat buff and debuff. You can use this to either enlarge a creature by 1 size, give them advantage on STR checks, and make their weapon attacks deal 1d4 extra damage. You could also use it to reduce a creature by 1 size, give them disadvantage on STR checks, and make their weapon attacks deal 1d4 less damage. Out of combat you can also Enlarge/Reduce objects such as a locked door.

Hold Person is your first major crowd control option for enemies. You can paralyze a humanoid for up to one minute. You can use Twinned Spell or a higher level spell slot to paralyze more than one humanoid. Humanoids are pretty common creature types in many campaigns, especially the in the early game. This is a phenomenal pick.

Level 3

Dispel Magic, Counterspell, Fear, Fly, Haste, Slow, Stinking Cloud

Level 3 spells are pretty much the bread and butter spells for this build. Truthfully, you cannot make any bad choices from the list above as they all provide great utility in one way or another.

Dispel Magic and Coutnerspell are excellent options should you find yourself frequently dealing with magic and magic users. Having the ability to remove an enemy magic user’s buffs or prevent them from casting a Fireball is a significant contribution to supporting your party.

Haste lets you buff a creature within 30 ft. of you. They gain +2 to AC, advantage on DEX saves, and gain an additional action on their turns. This action can only be used for a single weapon attack, Dash, Disengage, Hide, or a Use an Object action. This is an excellent spell for martial characters in your party. Additionally, if you have more than one martial PC in your party you can use Twinned Spell to cast Haste on both of them.

Slow is essentially the antithesis of Haste. Up to 6 creatures in a 40 ft. cube within 120 ft. of you have their speed halved, a -2 to AC and DEX saves, and they cannot use reactions. They also can only use an action OR a bonus action on their turn.

D&D sorcerer art

This build really begins to shine after you get 3rd level spells. Source: Montjart

Level 4

Banishment, Charm Monster, Greater Invisibility, Polymorph, Stoneskin

These all have some solid use cases, especially Greater Invisibility and Stoneskin. However, Polymorph is really the only one that I consider a staple to this build. Change an enemy into a fish out of water or some non-threatening creature and make a retreat as you now have up to 1 hour of it being in this form. Conversely, using Twinned Spell you could transform two of your party members into T-Rexes which can improve their combat abilities pretty significantly.

Greater Invisibility definitely has some excellent combat utility. Give it to a rogue (or two with Twinned Spell) and give them advantage, granting them Sneak Attack. I’d say that this spell is pretty reliant on having at least one solid damage dealing rogue to be considered a necessary spell.

Level 5

Dominate Person, Hold Monster, Synaptic Static, Teleportation Circle

Hold Monster is essentially the version of Hold Person that can be used against creatures that are not humanoid. It’s a great choice and like Hold Person you can use Twinned Spell to paralyze 2 monsters at the same time.

Synaptic Static is a new spell from XGtE and I think it is an amazing spell for a support sorcerer build. Each creature in a 20 ft. radius has to make an INT save or take 8d6 psychic damage. In addition to that they then have to roll 1d6 on their next turn and subtract that from all attack rolls, ability checks, and CON saves to maintaining concentration. Excellent spell.

Level 6

Mental Prison, Globe of Invulnerability, Mass Suggestion 

Eyebite is an excellent choice as it gives you the option of putting the target to sleep, frightening the target and forcing it to Dash away from you, and imposing disadvantage on attacks and ability checks. In addition to all this, on each of your turns until the spell ends you can target a new creature with the spell. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Mental Prison is a great crowd control ability added in XGtE. You can put a target into a small prison and deal 5d10 pychic damage to them. The catch is that only they can see and be affected by this prison. They cannot see or hear anything outside of this prison and they are considered restrained. If they move out of this space they take 10d10 psychic damage and the spell ends. Excellent spell, and a great use for the Shove action to deal some extra damage when you’re ready to drop the spell.

Level 7

Power Word Pain, Prismatic Spray, Teleport, Reverse Gravity

Power Word Pain is another spell from XGtE that is a great choice for this build. If a creature fails this save while they have less than 100 HP they have disadvantage on all attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws other than CON. In addition to this, their movement speed cannot be higher than 10 ft. and they must succeed a CON save before casting any spells.

Prismatic Spray is an excellent option for wrecking havoc with an AoE. Creatures in a cone can be restrained, blinded then banished, or take some form of elemental damage. This is all based random effects so you won’t know what you’ll get, but each option is beneficial for your party.

Teleport is probably one of the best utility spells in the game. You can teleport yourself and 8 other willing creatures to an area of your choice. You don’t even have to have visited this area before, you just have to know the description of the area.

Level 8

Dominate Monster, Power Word Stun

Power Word Stun is probably your best Twinned Spell candidate for CC. If a creature fails the saving throw for this spell they are stunned. There is no duration for this spell so they are stunned until they can succeed the saving throw. Also, this spell doesn’t require concentration.

Dominate Monster is good, but with how limited our spell selection is at this point I’d much rather learn Power Word Stun.

Level 9

Gate, Mass Polymorph, Psychic Scream, Wish

Unfortunately we can only choose, at most, one of these spells. They’re all phenomenal, which makes this choice so difficult.

Psychic Scream and Mass Polymorph have the same end result; mass crowd control. However, Psychic Scream also deals damage and stuns the creatures. While you can polymorph a group of your allies or NPCs into T-Rexes which is certainly powerful. At this point in the game, I’m not sure it’s more worthwhile than damaging and stunning up to 10 creatures within 90 ft. of you.

Wish is the best spell in the game. You can pretty much do anything. The only downside that Wish has is your DM as they decide the outcome of the wish.

Yuan Ti Pureblood Sorcerer

You only have 15 spells you can know at a time. Choose wisely!

Strengths of this Build

You can do a lot with a little. Using only a 2nd level spell slot and Twinned Magic you can paralyze two humanoids for a minute. This can be said for any combination of buff, debuff, or CC spell used with Twinned Magic. You essentially are able to cast two spells at the same time which is extremely useful from a support standpoint.

The wild magic support sorcerer in particular has many different ways of affecting how their companions and enemies roll. You are able to spread buffs and debuffs with your spells as well as with Bend Luck. Your job is to use your spells and abilities to mess with the original outcome of d20 rolls and change them to something more favorable.

Spells like Friends and Charm Person help you and your party role-play yourselves out of dangerous situations. Utility from spells like Fly, Enlarge/Reduce, Dispel Magic, and Featherfall can change a difficult situation into a minor annoyance. There is so much utility in this build for both in and out of combat situations.

Weaknesses of this Build

You cannot be alone when there is a risk of combat happening, especially in the earlier levels. This build has very few combat options because we’ve purposely hindered them to make room for all of our utility spells. Couple this with our poor AC and mediocre HP and we have a recipe for disaster. You’ll want to pair yourself with a martial character or two to make-up for this. This could be an issue from a role-playing standpoint as your character is forced to stick themselves to another party member at all times.

A general weakness of sorcerers is that they fall off compared to wizards in the end game of D&D. They cannot learn as many high level spells, and they don’t have access to as large of a variety of spells. You’ll have to choose your spells very carefully as a wasted spell choice is a significant mistake.

Conclusions

I played this build for a bit and enjoyed every minute of it. Wild Magic Surge is a hilarious and unique mechanic that I thoroughly enjoyed being at the mercy of. I had 3 martial characters in my party which really made this build shine with spells like Enlarge/Reduce, Hold Person/Monster, Polymorph and Haste. While I wasn’t dealing out tons of damage, they certainly were!

Abilities like Bend Luck and your spells that impose upon the enemy’s ability to deal damage help mitigate damage taken. This takes a huge load off of the healers in the party which gives them a bit more freedom to deal damage or help with crowd control. From my experience we were just fine with a Paladin’s healing and the odd health potion most of the time.

Why Not Divine Soul?

This is probably the question most people were asking themselves while reading this build. It’s a pretty fair question. Divine Soul is by far the best option for a traditional support sorcerer build. However, I wanted to focus on empowering my allies and weakening my enemies rather than healing my allies. Terminally Nerdy has a great Divine Soul Sorcerer build if you are more interested in a sorcerer that dishes out healing while dealing out a fair bit of damage.

Closing Thoughts

This is my first character build post in a long time. I will continue to make these on a semi-regular basis; probably one post every 1-2 months. That being said, feel free to contact me about a build you’d like me to dive into! I’d also love feedback on what you think about the format of this post so I can make a standard format for future character build posts.

If you liked this character build be sure to check out my other builds!

If you enjoyed what you read be sure to check out my ongoing review for all of the official D&D 5e books!

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