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Best DnD Sorcerer subclasses 5e, ranked

From Wild Magic to Draconic Bloodlines, here are the best DnD Sorcerer subclasses 5e – ranked and reviewed by Wargamer’s biggest D&D fan.

DnD Sorcerer subclasses 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a Tiefling leaping towards an ally

A Sorcerer is a top-quality addition to any Dungeons and Dragons party, and thanks to fifth edition’s vastly varied DnD Sorcerer subclasses, they can perform all kinds of feats. Harness the shadows, manipulate enemy minds, become your best dragon self, or trigger explosive surges of Wild Magic. The Sorcerer subclasses 5e offers are designed to fit all kinds of player.

There’s definitely a worst and best in the world of DnD Sorcerer Origins, though, and we’ve set out to find them. Below you’ll find a ranked list of DnD classes options for the Sorcerer, designed to help you find the right subclass for your next DnD character build.

From worst to best, here are the DnD Sorcerer 5e subclasses ranked:

DnD Sorcerer subclasses 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a Tiefling casting a spell

8. Wild Magic 5e

Found in: Player’s Handbook

The Wild Magic 5e Sorcerer thrives on chaos, and they may cause an unexpected Wild Magic Surge any time they cast a spell. Mechanically, this means the DM can choose to have you roll for a random magical consequence – and these range from hilarious to disastrous. You might suddenly be able to cast all your 5e spells as bonus actions, but you also might cast Fireball 5e on yourself and everyone in the nearby area.

Wild Magic is a flavorful subclass that can be a lot of fun to play. And it does have some useful abilities after a few DnD level ups. You’ll be able to spend Sorcerer points to guarantee success on your allies’ saving throws, and you’ll eventually gain slightly more control over the outcome of Wild Magic Surges.

But generally, character options with randomized elements tend to be the weakest of their ilk. If you want a consistent, capable Sorcerer who doesn’t risk derailing a DnD campaign from level one, choose a different subclass. 

DnD Sorcerer subclasses 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a gnome casting lightning magic on a monster

7. Storm Sorcery 5e

Found in: Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide / Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

Storm Sorcery 5e is another subclass with an excellent theme, but its actual abilities are unimpressive. You’re a Sorcerer who can control the weather and specializes in thunder and lightning damage. However, you don’t win battles by (literally) making it rain – and your combat skills are inconsistent at best.

Sure, it’s nice to have four free DnD languages at level one. And a bonus action that lets you fly out of combat without triggering opportunity attacks sounds awesome. Until you realize that ability only triggers if you cast a first-level spell or higher – and as a Sorcerer, you don’t exactly have a huge number of spell slots to spare.

Combine this with two higher-level abilities that require you to be in melee reach to have any effect on your enemies, and you’ve got a Sorcerer that’s exceedingly difficult to maneuver. Storm Sorcery seems to forget you’re playing a glass cannon character, and it doesn’t play to the Sorcerer’s strengths. 

DnD Sorcerer subclasses 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of two Gith fighting

6. Draconic Bloodline 5e

Found in: Player’s Handbook

From this point on, the DnD Sorcerer subclasses are like pizza – even the worst ones are very good. So don’t take the low ranking of the Draconic Bloodline 5e as a sign not to try it. This is a simple, sturdy Sorcerer with a solid damage output. Plus, the whole subclass is themed around DnD dragons, which significantly ups its cool factor.

Your Draconic Bloodline gets you an extra hit point for your maximum HP, and you’ll add another point every time you gain a Sorcerer level. You’ve also got a natural armor class of 13 plus your Dexterity modifier as long as you’re not wearing DnD armor. Given that you’ll later be able to sprout dragon wings that ruin any armor you’re wearing, you may as well lean into the casual look.

Your Draconic Ancestry also lets you deal extra damage of a certain elemental type, as well as gain resistance to that damage for an hour in exchange for a Sorcery point. Your 18th-level ability is a little underwhelming, allowing you to charm or frighten foes en masse, but considering how few campaigns reach this level, this may not be too much of a concern. 

DnD Sorcerer subclasses 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a woman casting magic on a fortress

5. Shadow Magic 5e

Found in: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

As the name implies, the Shadow Magic 5e Sorcerer is a master of darkness. They’re also an interesting and unique subclass with a surprising amount of power. You can expect to play this Sorcerer quite differently from its siblings, but it’s a rewarding experience to think outside the traditional Sorcerer box.

At first, there’s not much to a Shadow Sorcerer. You start with 120ft of Darkvision and the ability to pull yourself back from zero hit points to one. Both super useful, but not overly powerful. And then you get a pet Dire Wolf.

The Hound of Ill Omen costs three Sorcery points, but it’s a worthy investment. This shadowy creature locks onto a target, attacking only them and giving them disadvantage whenever they’re within five feet of your canine buddy. At later levels, you can teleport as a bonus action as long as you have a dark or dim space to move into, and top-level Shadow Sorcerers can take on a shadowy form that makes them resistant to almost all damage. 

Wizards of the Coast art of a Lunar Sorcerer, one of the DnD Sorcerer subclasses 5e

4. Lunar Sorcery 5e

Found in: Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen

The Lunar Sorcery 5e subclass revolves around the changing phases of the moon. At the start of a day, you decide whether the lunar phase is a full moon, new moon, or crescent moon. As you level up, this phase will determine what abilities you can access.

At early levels, the lunar phase decides which of your first-level spells you can cast for free. Later, each phase makes the Metamagic cost of certain DnD schools of magic cheaper. Higher levels also grant you three abilities to choose from, which provide a range of defensive and utility-based effects. You can also spend sorcery points to shift the lunar phase at will, in case your current choice feels too limiting.

With an ever-changing roster of spells and abilities, this is one of the more complex Sorcerer subclasses to manage. But the payoff is certainly worth it – the Lunar Sorcerer is a versatile and engaging DnD character build. 

DnD Sorcerer subclasses 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of an army of Modrons

3. Clockwork Soul 5e

Found in: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

One of the simplest ways to make a Sorcerer stronger is to give them more spells. It gives your character a lot more flexibility, and it’ll be easier to keep up with the party DnD Wizard. The Clockwork Soul 5e Sorcerer also has some very handy subclass abilities, but we can’t overstate how useful that expanded spell list is.

This is a Sorcerer who’s obsessed with order, so your abilities largely focus on defense and control. You can negate advantage and disadvantage from level one, and later on you can spend Sorcery points to build a force field around your friends and soak up the damage they’re taking. At the highest levels, your rolls are more likely to succeed, and your summons will prevent damage and destruction entirely.

This subclass focuses less on the traditional Blaster role a Sorcerer tends to fill, but your extended spell list can make up for a lack of offensive abilities. Overall, this is a versatile subclass that offers high levels of play value from the get-go. 

DnD Sorcerer subclasses 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a woman covered in slime and fungi

2. Aberrant Mind 5e

Found in: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

Like the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer, the Aberrant Mind 5e subclass comes with an expanded spell list that significantly ups its versatility and power levels. This time, though, you’re a tentacle-mad mage with the power to warp minds.

You start with a handy telepathy feature that helps you contact others without opening your mouth. Things get really interesting at level six when you can start casting Psionic spells with sorcery points instead of spell slots, as this can drastically increase your spellcasting shelf life.

At higher levels, you can fly, breathe underwater, see invisible creatures, or even squeeze yourself into tiny spaces. You’ll eventually get a double-whammy ability that hits enemies hard after you teleport out of range. The Aberrant Mind Sorcerer does what subclasses at the bottom of this list only dream of – offer theme, fun, and power all wrapped up in one squishy, tentacle-y bundle. 

DnD Sorcerer subclasses 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a spellcaster in combat

1. Divine Soul 5e

Found in: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

It turns out that adding a touch of DnD Cleric to your Sorcerer yields explosive results. The Divine Soul 5e subclass is the result of this experiment, and it grants you access to the DnD Cleric spells list as well as your regular selection of Sorcerer spells. You’ll also get an extra spell based on your DnD alignment.

The Divine Soul subclass is also backed up by excellent abilities. From first level, you can roll 2d4 to alter the results of saving throws and attack rolls. Later, you can spend sorcery points to improve the outcome of healing rolls, and you’ll be able to sprout wings as a bonus action and fly around. At the top level, you can regain hit points as a bonus action – no spell slots or sorcery points required.

More choice always means more complexity, and crafting the perfect Divine Sorcerer can be tricky for greener D&D players. But if healing as hard as you hit sounds like your idea of a good time, we can’t recommend this subclass enough.

Still trying to decide who your character is? Our guides to DnD races and DnD backgrounds can help with that. We also showcase the very best spellcasting subclasses in our guides to DnD Wizard subclasses, DnD Cleric subclasses, and DnD Bard subclasses.