Top 20 Best Sorcerer Spells For D&D 5e (Ranked)

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Sorcerers are born with powers within them. Some inherit their power from an ancient bloodline, while others possess powerful chaotic magic that can manifest in surprising ways.

Sorcerers are a challenging class.

They aren’t as versatile as Wizards, yet share the same capabilities and spells. What makes Sorcerers stick out in Dungeons and Dragons 5e is that having a small spell pool forces them to specialize and excel with Meta Magic, and amplify that even more with their Sorcerous Origin.

A Sorcerer’s preferred Meta Magic and Sorcerous Origin will weigh into their choice of spells.

Spells and Meta Magic have to synergize to allow Sorcerers to shine. Considering the limited amount of spells available to a Sorcerer, understanding what sort of role they play in the party is vital.

It’s good to have some contingency, but overall, specialization would be much better.

Note: I did not include the Cleric Spells available to a Sorcerer if they have the Divine Soul Sorcerous Origin.

 

20. Minor Illusion

Source: Player’s Handbook

Minor Illusion is a cantrip that can be potent when used creatively.

This Cantrip allows you to make a sound or image within 30 feet. If you make the image of an object, its size must be no larger than a 5-foot cube.

An example of Minor Illusion’s utility is by creating a rabbit to distract a pack of wolves, or making a bush to hide behind.

Just be sure enemies don’t see you make the illusion, or else there’s no point to it!

 

19. Fire Bolt

Source: Player’s Handbook

As a Cantrip, you can’t really go wrong with Fire Bolt.

It’s got a good range of 120 feet and does 1d10 fire damage.

As you progress through your Sorcerer levels, Fire Bolt’s damage will also scale with you.

Unfortunately as the spell name says, it’s a fire spell. There are a lot of creatures in the game that resist fire. So you might want to pick up another Cantrip of a different damage type to make up for Fire Bolt, just to have some balance.

 

18. Fly

Source: Player’s Handbook

Fly is a very useful 3rd level spell. But I wouldn’t get this spell before getting Counterspell, Haste, and Fireball.

It starts to fall off a little for personal use if you opted for Draconic Bloodline or Divine Soul as your Sorcerous Origin, since you’ll be getting wings. But it’ll still be very useful for your allies.

Fly’s speed of 60ft per round is also unaffected by objects that slow down your base speed, making it a great spell for a quick get a way or to pursue a fleeing enemy.

 

17. Phantasmal Force

Source: Player’s Handbook

Phantasmal Force is not on here for its damage but its possibilities.

This 2nd level spell is potentially game breaking, and usually overlooked by DMs.

Phantasmal Force creates an illusion in the mind of a creature.

You could make your target believe that the avatar of their god has descended to protect your party, which could totally shut off an encounter.

If your DM is for it, you could do other similarly powerful ideas to implant into your victim’s minds… but most DMs will usually catch on quick if it’s abused. And then possibly limit Phantasmal Force’s potency.

Still, it is a great spell to at least force an enemy to make an Intelligence check.

 

16. Sleep

Source: Player’s Handbook

This 1st level spell can turn seemingly difficult low-level encounters into a slight inconvenience.

It doesn’t require concentration either, and has the added benefit of having no saving throws.

You most probably won’t be using this on full health targets. But you could bring down their health before incapacitating them with sleep to finish them off.

While very powerful, it falls off at later levels. So consider replacing Sleep once you start encountering monsters with bigger health pools on a regular basis.

A possible replacement for this one is Hypnotic Pattern.

 

15. Web

Source: Player’s Handbook

Web is a very handy utility spell allowing you to restrain your enemies.

Web is an often overlooked 2nd level spell that’s also often underestimated.

As mentioned, Web restrains targets dropping their movement to nothing. Since melee enemies won’t be able to get close if they’re restrained, you not only protect yourself, but other ranged allies too.

Your party will thank you for restraining them, because they’ll have an advantage on attack rolls while enemies will have a disadvantage on their attack rolls.

This means you’ve given enemy archers a handicap when firing at you, on top of restraining the melee attackers.

Once you get access to level 5 spells you might want to switch this out, as by that point a round of you concentrating on Web could be put to better use.

 

14. Invisibility/Greater Invisibility

Source: Player’s Handbook

Invisibility is incredibly good in D&D 5e.

Being able to move around for an entire minute without being targeted is just fantastic.

Greater Invisibility excels even more when it’s used along with Twinned Spell and Extended Spell, as you could cast it on two allies or extend its duration.

Using invisibility to guarantee a sneak attack for your rogue, sneak by enemies, or even play a prank on a lord are a few examples on how to use this line of spells.

 

13. Fireball

Source: Player’s Handbook

Fireball will always be in most lists of must-have Sorcerer spells.

This 3rd level spell causes 8d6 fire damage with a 20 foot radius explosion and can be cast from 150 feet away.

Its simple point, shoot, and explosion mechanic makes it a very reliable damage source for a Sorcerer. You’ll constantly find yourself comparing all your other damage spells to Fireball because it’s just that good.

 

12. Shield

Source: Player’s Handbook

Being able to get +5 AC that can be cast as a reaction on a 1st level spell is insane.

It scales well into the mid to high level play and you can use sorcery points to keep replenishing Shield if absolutely needed.

Simply being able to cast Shield after knowing the results of an attack roll means you can constantly turn a potential devastating hit into a miss.

This also synergizes well with Mirror Image and Mage Armor.

 

11. Levitate

Source: Player’s Handbook

Another overlooked spell that has a lot of uses, Levitate could potentially imitate other higher level spells.

I don’t mean this in the literal sense, but if used creatively, Levitate will be able to do a lot despite it only being a 2nd level spell.

You could use Levitate on an ally to make a safe landing similar to feather fall. Or help yourself or an ally get up a difficult wall if your Strength checks can’t make the DC.

You could also imitate Telekinesis in a way, but Levitate has a weight limit of 500lbs unlike Telekinesis’ 1000lb limit.

Of course, it won’t work exactly like the original spell you’re imitating. But considering you want to maximize your available spells, Levitate lets you use those precious spells on spell slinging.

 

10. Banishment

Source: Player’s Handbook

Banishment will probably be your first delete spell as a Sorcerer.

This 4th level spell sends a target to another plane of existence for 1 minute if they fail a Charisma saving throw. Banishment can be a little bit of a gamble considering it either works, or doesn’t.

But when it works, it’s terrific.

Also, it’s not often your opponents will have high Charisma scores.

A lot of powerful enemies you’ll come across are extraplanar. Which is great for Banishment because using it on extraplanar beings will return them to their home plane.

Another thing to be cautious of: if your concentration is interrupted during the 1 minute, the extraplanar entity will return.

Banishment has amazing synergy with Twinned Spell or even Heightened Spell if you want to get rid of two enemies, or try to banish an enemy that could have a high Charisma score.

 

9. Mirror Image

Source: Player’s Handbook

One of the few 2nd level spells you’ll be using throughout your Sorcerer’s life.

Mirror Image creates 3 copies of you in the same space.

Each time you’re attacked, roll a d20 to see if one of the copies is attacked instead of you. Not to mention, each copy has AC that needs to be bypassed as well.

Mirror Image is a Sorcerer’s best friend when it comes to defensive spells. Though it has no effect on opponents that don’t use sight to perceive the world.

This is best used against enemies with low amounts of attacks per round that hit hard.

 

8. Haste

Source: Player’s Handbook

Haste is an amazing spell packed with offensive, defensive, and utility capabilities.

Haste is an excellent 3rd level spell because it increases your target’s AC, gives them an advantage for Dexterity saving throws, and grants them an extra weapon attack or movement.

It can also be used with Twinned Spell which means almost certain death to anything within weapon range of your party’s fighter.

Just be careful not to break concentration, as it’s a requirement.

A definite main stay if you have martial characters in your party.

 

7. Counterspell

Source: Player’s Handbook

An essential spell in any party, Counterspell interrupts a target’s spell, but only if you use it within 60 feet of the caster you want to interrupt.

Counterspell is your go-to option to shut down enemy spell casters, and can save your party from being wiped out if used correctly.

This is brought to another level on a Sorcerer because your Counterspell can’t be Counterspelled if you use the Meta Magic Subtle Spell. Subtle Spell lets will let you bypass the verbal and somatic components of it. Very handy.

 

6. Hold Person/Hold Monster

Source: Player’s Handbook

This line of spells causes paralysis which guarantees critical hits on a target.

This lets your ally Rogue or Paladin make quick work of priority targets. Being able to Twinned Spell Hold Person can be encounter-defining.

Act quick though, as targets make a saving throw at the end of their turns.

Now couple that with taking Shadow Origin that gives access to Shadow of Ill Omen, and you can almost guarantee you’re going to keep a few enemies incapacitated during a fight. It’s also good considering you can quicken it, then follow with Fire bolt.

 

5. Disintegrate

Source: Player’s Handbook

Disintegrate is among the highest damage, single-target spells in 5e.

This 6th level spell packs a walloping 10d6 + 40 force damage when it’s first available to you, making it perfect for taking down low Dexterity enemies with a large health pool.

Although Disintegrate can be rather underwhelming against creatures with legendary resistances, it’s still worth getting especially when you start using it at higher spell slots or with Twinned Spell.

Disintegrate tears down Wall of Force, and you could use it to demolish structures.

It can also become useful if your party is caved in a deep labyrinth with no teleportation spells and need to escape.

 

4. Polymorph

Source: Player’s Handbook

Polymorph is my favorite 4th level spell.

It will always be on my spell list, as its versatility is unmatched. It allows an opponent to be taken out of the fight entirely. Or keeps an ally from dying by giving them a ton of HP and a new beast form.

This 4th level spell can incapacitate enemies, transform your allies into powerful beasts, or turn your allies into animals that you might deem useful for a situation.

Polymorph can also be used with Twinned Spell, amplifying its usefulness

And in case your DM says “You don’t know what a T-Rex is!”, just buy a book about dinosaurs early to get it over with.

 

3. Sun Burst

Source: Player’s Handbook

If you like Fireball, you’ll like Sun Burst.

Sun Burst has 3x the radius of Fireball, and blinds the target if they fail a Constitution saving throw.

The target gets to roll another Constitution saving throw every turn. But if used on the proper targets like a high Dexterity, low Constitution archer, then you could essentially keep them from picking off your allies.

Sun Burst is amazing because it packs both control and damage into a spell, which is excellent for a Sorcerer’s limited spell options.

 

2. Meteor Swarm

Source: Player’s Handbook

Arguably the most powerful Area of Effect damage spell.

At 40d6, you’ll be able to level entire buildings with a 40 feet radius from a mile away.

Getting Meteor Swarm is like getting nuclear launch codes. You could destroy entire cities, though I can’t guarantee your party would deem that an option unless you’re playing an evil campaign of course.

You call down flaming rocks upon creatures and objects, easily destroying them. While this spell is excellent for raw damage output, it still pales in comparison to Wish.

 

1. Wish

Source: Player’s Handbook

While Wish is a complicated spell, it’s easily the best spell in for any sorcerer.

It’s the ultimate 9th level spell that can come with and without risks.

If you’re using it simply to cast a spell that’s 8th level or below, create nonmagical objects, or buff your allies, then it shouldn’t be a problem. Those are clear in the spell’s parameters.

Problems start to come up when you exercise the option to wish for anything else.

Because Wish manipulates reality in favor of the caster, which is already a potential Pandora’s Box.

I would suggest keeping to the parameters of the Wish, but if you’re willing to gamble, word your wish very carefully for your DM.

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