D&D: Best Wizard Spells For Every Level

D&D: Best Wizard Spells

Wizards are the most iconic spellcasters of Dungeons and Dragons and in many ways, the most powerful. In fact, they have access to more spells than any other class in the game.

With the largest number and the broadest selection of spells to choose from, the process of choosing your spells can feel overwhelming. Managing a spellbook can be complicated, and learning new spells can be a gamble – especially since you have to spend time and gold to do so. 

Not all spells are created equal – some are versatile, some powerful, some deceiving at first glance. This article is here to help you choose some of the best spells available to wizards out of the wide variety to pick from. 

Best Level 1 Wizard Spell: Find Familiar

An absolute must-have for first-level wizards, this spell lets you summon a familiar – a Celestial, Fey, or Fiend that takes the appearance and statistics of whichever animal form you choose. 

Why Find Familiar Is Great

  • It’s incredibly powerful for a first-level spell, especially since it has no set duration. The familiar lasts until either you dismiss it or it reaches zero hit points. 
  • You can use your familiar to cast touch spells on distant allies, dramatically increasing your potential range and keeping your wizard out of harm’s way. 
  • The familiar can also use the help action to grant you or your teammate's advantage on attack rolls or ability checks. 
  • Versatility is an important consideration in which spells you choose to learn and prepare, and the versatility of Find Familiar is unmatched. You can use your familiar to scout ahead, deliver information, spy on oblivious enemies, steal items, or whatever else you can imagine a small, intelligent creature would be useful for. 

Second Best Level 1 Wizard Spell: Shield

As a reaction to an attack, you create a protective barrier of magical force. Until the start of your next turn, you have +5 to your AC and you take no damage from magic missile. 

Why Shield Is Great

  • This spell should be included in any self-respecting Wizards spellbook. With the lowest hit die in the game, wizards are incredibly fragile during the early levels of play. Shield gives you an impressive +5 to AC and is even more effective when combined with Mage Armor. 
  • The spell is cast as a Reaction to being hit by an attack or being targeted by magic missile. It's an amazing option to prevent life-threatening blows from landing. 

Best Level 2 Wizard Spell: Misty Step

A simple but infinitely useful spell, Misty Step will get your squishy wizard out of all manner of dangerous situations. Briefly surrounded by silvery mist, you teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space that you can see.

Why Misty Step Is Great

  • It's there to help you get out as quickly as possible in an emergency. As has been mentioned, wizards aren’t the sturdiest class. Misty Step will help you avoid devastating hits and death saving throws. 
  • As one of the few bonus action spells, you can use Misty Step and still have use of your action and movement. This means you can move around 90 feet on a single turn if you dash and use Misty Step – AND you can still attack with a cantrip or weapon. 
  • Misty Step’s utility continues through higher levels of play, inside and outside of battle. You can use it to bypass uncrossable chasms and narrow crevices, to escape when trapped, or to grab a difficult to reach item. There’s a surprising amount of situations where a little creative teleportation can come in handy.

Second Best Level 2 Wizard Spell: Suggestion

You suggest a course of activity (limited to a sentence or two) and magically influence a creature you can see within range that can hear and understand you. On a failed Wisdom saving throw, the target purses the course of action you described to the best of its ability. You can also specify Conditions that will trigger a Special activity during the Duration.

Why Suggestion Is Great

  • This is a super versatile spell you can use to accomplish any number of things. All it takes is some creativity and a slightly more permissive DM. 
  • It has an 8-hour duration, which will let you suggest a whole host of different actions. 

Best Level 3 Wizard Spell: Counterspell

You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell. Any spell of third level or lower fails automatically. To counter higher-level spells, you have to succeed on an ability check that scales with the spell's level. 

Why Counterspell Is Great

  • This is one of the only ways to negate enemy spellcasters and many consider it essential for any party. 
  • You can use an Arcana check to attempt to determine what spell the enemy is casting to make an informed decision on when it's the right time to use Counterspell. 
  • It automatically counters spells up to the slot level you use, and you can try to counter higher-level spells with a roll. 

Second Best Level 3 Wizard Spell: Fireball

A bright streak of fire shoots from your finger and explodes on impact. Creatures within twenty feet who fail a Dexterity saving throw have to take 8d6 fire damage and those who succeed take half damage. 

Why Fireball Is Great

  • Simple but effective, this is an iconic D&D spell. 
  • It inflicts 8d6 damage, above and beyond most other spells of the same level. 
  • Fireball has an area of effect of 20 feet instead of a single target, which means it can potentially wipe out large numbers of enemies. 
  • It’s area of effect is circular, as opposed to the linear effect of the similar spell Lightning Bolt. Spells with circular areas of effect are easier to aim and more likely to hit multiple targets. 

Best Level 4 Wizard Spell: Polymorph

Polymorph lets you transform yourself or another creature into a new form, with an unwilling target making a Wisdom saving throw to resist. This new form can be any beast whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the targets. The creature is limited in the actions it can perform by the nature of its new form, and it can't speak, cast spells, or take any other action that requires hands or speech.

Why Is Polymorph Great

  • Polymorph is commonly considered one of the more powerful fourth-level spells just for its sheer versatility of use. You can use it on yourself or on your allies to bestow strength or other skills, or use it on enemies to turn them into non-threatening creatures. 
  • It also has lots of utility outside of combat. You could use it to help your party sneak into a building or encampment, overhear private conversations, or quickly escape from a dangerous predicament. You’ll find it’ll come in handy in a wide range of surprising situations. 

Second Best Level 4 Wizard Spell: Banishment

The target must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or be banished to another plane of existence. If the target is native to the plane you're currently on, you banish them to a harmless demiplane. If they’re from a different plane, they are banished back to where they’re originally from. If the spell lasts longer than one minute, the target can’t return.

Why Banishment Is Great

  • It completely removes one foe from the battlefield as long as you maintain concentration, and at higher levels can be used to target multiple creatures. If they're enemies from the plane you're currently on, they're removed for up to one minute which gives your party plenty of time to prep, heal, and ready actions. 
  • Charisma saving throws aren't common and very few creatures are good at them. This means it's incredibly likely the targets will fail the save.
  • Many powerful enemies originate in other planes of existence, and with this spell you can easily banish them back to their native plane. For these enemies, the banishment is permanent if you can concentrate for the entire one minute duration. 

Best Level 5 Wizard Spell: Wall of Force

You create an invisible wall of force that is physically impenetrable, immune to all damage, and can’t be dissipated with Dispel Magic. It also extends into the Ethereal Plane, blocking ethereal travel  

Why Wall of Force Is Great

  • It’s immune to all damage and can’t be dispelled. There’s not much your enemies can do unless they happen to have access to the spell Disintegrate. 
  • You can also make the wall circular, trapping and imprisoning your enemies. 
  • It’s great when your party is being chased or when things are going downhill during a battle. Use it to separate you and your allies from the creatures attacking you and make a swift exit to somewhere safer.

Second Best Level 5 Wizard Spell: Bigby’s Hand

Bigby’s Hand is actually an amalgamation of several separate spells from older editions. This newest version lets you manifest a large hand made of shimmering, translucent force that can attack, grapple, push, and provide cover. The hand has an AC of 20 and hit points equal to your hit point maximum. 

Why Bigby’s Hand Is Great

  • Once again, this spell’s versatility makes it a great pick.  It can be used to punch, push, grapple, squeeze, and block and is useful both in and out of combat. 
  • It does 4d8 damage and can be repeated as a bonus action on subsequent turns. 
  • The hand also has 20 AC and hit points equal to the caster's hit point maximum.
  • The hand can also be used to provide cover. 

Best Level 6 Wizard Spell: Disintegrate

You shoot a green ray from your finger towards a creature, an object, or a creation of magical force. Any creature that fails a Dexterity saving throw takes 10d6 + 40 force damage and the target is disintegrated if this damage leaves it with 0 hit points.

Why Disintegrate Is Great

  • Disintegrate inflicts 10d6 + 40 force damage, making it one of the strongest single-target spells in the entire game. The damage type is also a bonus, since resistance to it is relatively rare.
  • This is one of the only ways to permanently kill someone in the game. Any creature disintegrated by this spell can only be restored to life by a True Resurrection or Wish spell.
  • This spell has utility beyond damage, as it can be used to bypass things like Walls of Force or create openings in structures blocking your path.

Second Best Level 6 Wizard Spell: Contingency

You prepare a spell ahead of time that is triggered by specific circumstances or events. 

Why Contingency Is Great

  • It allows you to have a backup plan for any dangerous scenario. If you have an idea of the dangers you might face in the next battle, you can prepare the perfect spell ahead of time for whatever threat you are going to encounter. 
  • You can use it to avoid near-death scenarios, teleporting yourself out of danger, or becoming invisible when you reach a certain HP threshold. 

Best Level 7 Wizard Spell: Forcecage

This spell lets you imprison your foes in an invisible cage composed of magical force. It is impossible to leave the prison through nonmagical means, and those that attempt to teleport or pass through another plane must succeed on a Charisma saving throw. 

Why Forcecage Is Great

  • There’s no initial saving throw to avoid being trapped. 
  • The target can’t escape through nonmagical means, which means no slipping through the bars or using strength to break their way out. 
  • If they do attempt to break out through teleportation or some other spell, then they have to succeed on a Charisma saving throw to do so – and not many monsters have high Charisma scores. 
  • It can be used to isolate both your enemies OR your party. 
  • You can use it to put your enemies all in one space and then have a party member use an area of effect spell over it. 

Second Best Level 7 Wizard Spell: Simulacrum

You create an illusory duplicate of one beast or humanoid. This duplicate is friendly to you and obeys your spoken commands. The simulacrum lasts in perpetuity until it drops to zero hit points.

Why Simulacrum Is Great

  • You can use it on yourself to make a copy, essentially giving you an extra turn during combat to attack or perform other actions. You could also use your copy to cast ritual spells, use magic items, and for keeping watch. 
  • There are all kinds of scenarios where being able to make a double of someone would be incredibly useful. One example is espionage and spying. 
  • It’s a spell you can be really creative with that has tons of potential uses. 

Best Level 8 Wizard Spell: Maze

You banish a creature into a labyrinthine Demiplane. It can only attempt to escape by making a DC 20 Intelligence check. 

Why Maze Is Great

  • There’s no initial save to avoid the spell, so the creature is automatically stuck in the maze until their next turn. 
  • Intelligence is an uncommon save and not many monsters have high Intelligence modifiers. DC 20 is also an incredibly hard check, and creatures with less than 10 Intelligence are quite literally unable to escape. 

Second Best Level 8 Wizard Spell: Clone

You create a duplicate of a living creature as a safeguard against death. The clone grows inside of a sealed vessel and takes 120 days to fully mature. If the original creature dies, its soul transfers to the clone. 

Why Clone Is Great

  • It's an absolute fail-safe against death. The components are expensive, but it’s well worth it. 
  • You can choose to make the clone younger than the actual creature it’s modeled after, opening up the possibility of eternal youth. 
  • You can use it not just on yourself, but on the entire party. 

Best Level 9 Wizard Spell: Wish

Wish gives you the power to alter the very foundations of reality, simply by speaking aloud. The base use of this spell is to duplicate any other spell of 8th level or lower without having to meet any of its requirements, but there are applications for Wish that are limited by nothing but your imagination and what the DM will allow. 

Why Wish Is Great

  • The very spell description in the Player’s Handbook says that this is the mightiest spell a mortal creature can cast. No other spell can compete with its reality-altering capabilities, even others of 9th level. 
  • This is functionally almost every spell in one. While it can’t be used to cast another 9th level spell, it can be used to cast literally any other spell in the game.  
  • Wish can restore 20 creatures to full hit points if your party is in a desperate moment during a fight. It can also grant 10 creatures resistance to a specific damage type or immunity to a single spell or magical effect. 
  • Using this spell, you can force a redo of any roll you or another member of your party has failed,  which is great when the dice don’t cooperate with an important or potentially amazing moment. If you’re battling the big bad of your campaign and somebody bungles a roll, this comes in clutch to save the day and give you a second chance. 
  • It also can force rerolls on enemies, undoing a successful save, a critical hit, or other roll or action. You can force the reroll to be made with advantage or disadvantage, and you can choose whether to use the reroll or the original roll. 
  • Outside of these uses, there is the potential for this spell to have very few limits. Always check with your DM, but you could hypothetically wish for almost anything. Remember, the bigger the wish the greater the likelihood that something goes wrong – and always be mindful of the wording of your wish. 

Second Best Level 9 Wizard Spell: Prismatic Wall

A shimmering, multicolored plane of light forms a wall. You and your allies can pass through without harm, but other creatures will experience a range of different effects. Not only can it blind those that approach, it consists of seven layers that each operates differently. A creature must pass through each layer to get through the wall, making a Dexterity saving throw to try and avoid its effects. 

Why Prismatic Wall Is Great

  • The different effects of the layers are varied and devastating. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Blue all inflict 10d6 damage of varying types – and it’s likely that one of them will be a type that the creature is vulnerable to. 
  • Indigo and Violet both have more complicated effects. Indigo can restrain and even permanently petrify a creature, and Violet can blind a creature or potentially transport them to an entirely different plane. 
  • Each layer also has to be destroyed individually in very specific ways, making it incredibly complicated to dispel. 
  • You can also make the wall circular, trapping creatures within it.  

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