[Top 3] D&D Best Mage Builds of All Time

Top 3 D&D Best Mage Builds
Sneaky Mage Hand Moment

I love writing about my favorite D&D class, the Mage! I have played many campaigns as a mage, and I have always tried some other types of magic. Keep reading to find out which 3 magic styles, I believe, are the best! 

For the purposes of keeping this article concise, I am only going to focus on what to pick up, and not really discuss the other options because the skills and spell list are extremely long, and neither you, nor I, have an attention span long enough for that!

Venture forth and discover what this article has to offer you!

3. Bladesinger

In the heat of battle

What a great way to start things off! If you haven’t ever heard of this class before, let me enlighten you. A bladesinger is, traditionally, an elf that has mastered a form of swordplay that is rooted in magic. 

This is an awesome class to play as because you can lop off limbs with your sword and melt their face with a handful of fire! A wizard who can engage in melee is a nice way to switch up your playstyle.

Excels in...

Melee and Magic. Mastering two sides of combat is super powerful!

Dexterity prowess 

Multiclass into a Dueling/Fighting class

ASI’s and Feats:

Human Variants or High Elves are best for this build. 

Really focus on the Dex and Intelligence stats. This Wizard uses Dex a ton for attack rolls and AC. Obviously, we need intelligence for the spell side of this build.

Wizard/Bladesinger class features. I will keep this concise to just the good ones so neither of us loses our mind!

  • Spellcasting gives you a HUGE spell list to choose from
  • Arcane Recovery allows you to get spell slot recovery on short rests 
  • Training in War and Song gives you the proficiencies you need to melee
  • Bladesong allows your Int modifier to be added to your AC, +10ft on move speed, acrobatics advantage, Int modifier to concentration saves
  • Song of Victory increases your attacks per round. Super effective with dual wielding
  • Spell Mastery gives at will access to all 1st and 2nd level spells. Super popular, and extremely effective!
  • With the Bladesinger, you may only get 1 Feat, so the best one is to take an ability score improvement in the Dexterity skill.

Spells:

We have arrived at our most lengthy part of this discussion: Spells. Again, we are only focusing on the ones you should pick up and not mentioning the ones you shouldn’t or any left over spells. You will find that you will need to take more spells than this list shows. Focus on these first, then pick other spells that match your play style:

  • Cantrips - Minor Illusion, Booming Blade, Green Flame Blade, Lightning Lure
  • Level 1 spells - Detect Magic, Find Familiar, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter
  • Level 2 spells - Suggestion, Phantasmal Force
  • Level 3 spells… Things just got real! - Blink, Counter Spell, Fireball, Haste, Hypnotic Pattern, Leomund's Tiny Hut, Vampiric Touch, Erupting Earth
  • Level 4 spells - Arcane’s Eye, Evard's Black Tentacles, Greater Invisibility, Polymorph
  • Level 5 spells - Animate Objects, Rary's Telepathic Bond, Transmute Rock
  • Level 6 spells (Now we are about to dominate) - Contingency, Magic Jar
  • Level 7 spells - Force Cage, Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion, Plane Shift, Simulacrum, Reverse Gravity
  • Level 8 spells - Antipathy/Sympathy, Clone, Maze
  • Level 9 spells - Wish, Shapechange, True Polymorph, Prismatic Wall

Equipment:

  • Light armor! Again, we focus on AC here. 
  • One handed martial weapon. I recommend a 1 handed sword of any variant you choose

Beware! This wizard will melt your brain!

This is a beautiful baddie, in my humble opinion. This is a master level, jack-of-all-trades wizard! The reason why I call it that is because it has all the right spells for all the right situations. This character has seen battle, hardships, success, and everything in between. 

Excels in...

  • Generalization. Having a ton of resources at your disposal
  • Strategy in combat
  • Being able to control the battlefield and deal damage

ASI’s and Feats:

I believe a High Elf is best to base this build on.

We are focusing on the Intelligence state. Max that as much as possible, then move on to Dexterity. Remember, we are a caster, so things like strength and charisma are no gos. 

Class features we need. Remember, these are obtained at different levels:

  • School of Divination subclass gives you Portent. It allows you to roll 2 d20’s each day and record them. You can replace any roll with your recorded values if you choose!
  • Expert Divination helps in spell slot regen. Regain slots if you cast a divination spell at 2nd level or higher
  • Third Eye gives you these 4 abilities that you can switch out every short rest - darkvision, ethereal sight, greater comprehension, and see invisibility
  • Greater Portent gives you 3 d20’s to roll each day! Replaces Portent
  • Spell Mastery gives access to all 1st and 2nd level spells
  • Just like the Bladesinger, you may only get one feat, so you can pick one of these - lucky, alarm, warcaster, or resilient 

Spells:

  • Cantrips - fire bolt, mage hand, minor illusion, toll the dead
  • Level 1 spells - shield, detect magic, find familiar, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, magic missile
  • Level 2 spells - detect thoughts, hold person, invisibility, misty step, phantasmal force, suggestion
  • Level 3 spells - blink, counterspell, dispel magic, fireball, haste, hypnotic pattern, lightning bolt
  • Level 4 spells - banishment, confusion, dimension door, Otiluke’s resilient sphere, polymorph
  • Level 5 spells - Bigby’s Hand, dominate person, geas, hold monster, modify memory, telekinesis, wall of force
  • Level 6 spells - disintegrate, flesh to stone, magic jar, mass suggestion, Otto’s irresistible dance
  • Level 7 spells - forcecage, reverse gravity, plane shift, prismatic spray, simulacrum
  • Level 8 spells - dominate monster, feeblemind, maze
  • Level 9 spells - foresight, meteor swarm, true polymorph, wish

Equipment:

  • Robe of the Archmage which gives +2 spell saves 
  • Staff of Swarms gives the insect cloud buff 4x per day. It pretty much gives you the darkness and devil sight combo

1. Tormented Divine Soul Mage

She's so pretty, yet so deadly

This is my all time FAVORITE build! This combines Sorcerer with a few levels in the Warlock subclass. The eldritch blast from the Warlock subclass is such a beast because of the eldritch blast spell. AND you get to take advantage of the Divine Soul spells (which we will cover later).

The reason why I love this build is because I can switch between DPS and utility. This is my favorite play style!

*For this build to work, you need to take the Divine Soul background*

Excels in...

  • DPS with spells like eldritch blast and searing ray
  • Utility 
  • Some healing spells (which is nice if you are the only mage in the party)

ASI’s and Feats:

I always use a half-elf for this particular build.

  • We need to focus on Charisma for this one. Then you can choose Dexterity or Constitution for the secondary stat.
  • Elven Accuracy gives you +1 on Charisma
  • ASI +2 Charisma later in your leveling
  • Warcaster gives you advantage on constitution saves (why we focus on constitution as our secondary stat) and you can use a wand or staff with a shield

Check out these feats! You can pick out of these 2: Lucky - reroll a critical fail or Polearm Master - interesting, i know, but it allows you to make an attack of opportunity with a quarterstaff (mage staff) when someone enters your range

Spells:

  • Cantrip - eldritch blast, toll the dead, sacred flame, guidance
  • Level 1 spell - shield, hex, healing word
  • Level 2 spell - mirror image, scorching ray, spiritual weapon
  • Level 3 spell - fireball, haste, blink, revivify
  • Level 4 spell - polymorph, greater invisibility, death ward, freedom of movement
  • Level 5 spells - mass cure wounds
  • Level 6 spells - heroes feast, heal
  • Level 7 spells - reverse gravity, conjure celestial
  • Level 8 spells - holy aura
  • Level 9 spells - wish

Equipment:

  • Staff of Power gives you a +2 to your AC, +2 spell hit, +2 on saving throws
  • Robe of the Archmage, again, a beastly +2 to spell saves
More on this topic:
A loot-seeker that emigrated from the warm south of Mississippi, to the murderous tundra of Wisconsin. Rhese is a bard by passion. Travelling far and wide to share the tales of his conquests!
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Borderlands 3, Elder Scrolls Online, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Witcher 3
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