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Pathfinder Wizard 2e class guide

Paizo’s 2e Wizard may be squishier than other Pathfinder classes, but arcane schools and flashy spells make the Pathfinder Wizard well worth getting to know

Pathfinder Wizard 2e casting a spell (art from Paizo)

To the Pathfinder Wizard, knowledge is everything. It’s the reward they crave and go questing for, whether that’s a quest to the library or across the lands of Golarion. It’s the thing that keeps them alive, allowing them to logic their way out of conflicts or carefully judge what spell will best weaken a foe. Curiosity may not make great armour, but it serves the Wizard 2e in plenty of other ways.

If you’re looking to play one of the spellcasting Pathfinder classes, you can’t go wrong with a 2e Wizard. Grab your Pathfinder character sheets, choose one of the Pathfinder races, and get ready to leap down the Wizard rabbit hole, head and pointy hat first.

Here’s your guide to the Pathfinder 2e Wizard class:

Pathfinder Wizard 2e pondering a strange orb (art by Paizo)

Pathfinder Wizards stats and proficiencies

Your key ability is Intelligence, and you get an ability boost to this stat at first level. Your starting hit points are your Constitution modifier plus six, and you’ll add this same number to your HP maximum every time you level up.

These are the level one Wizard proficiencies:

Type Name Rank
Skill Perception Trained
Skill Arcana Trained
Saving throw Fortitude Trained
Saving throw Reflex Trained
Saving throw Will Expert
Attack Club Trained
Attack Crossbow Trained
Attack Dagger Trained
Attack Heavy crossbow Trained
Attack Staff Trained
Attack Unarmed attacks Trained
Defences Armour Untrained
Defences Unarmoured defence Trained
Spells Arcane spell attacks Trained
Spells Arcane spell difficulty checks Trained

Wizards are also trained in additional skills equal to their Intelligence modifier plus two.

Pathfinder Wizard 2e about to throw a fireball at a yeti (art by Paizo)

Pathfinder Wizard class features

Here are the Wizard-specific class features you’ll access as your character levels up:

Level Features
1 Arcane Spellcasting, Arcane School, Arcane Bond, Arcane Thesis
2 Wizard feat
3 Second-level spells
4 Wizard feat
5 Third-level spells, Lightning Reflexes
6 Wizard feat
7 Fourth-level spells, Expert Spellcaster
8 Wizard feat
9 Fifth-level spells, Magical Fortitude
10 Wizard feat
11 Sixth-level spells, Alertness, Wizard Weapon Expertise
12 Wizard feat
13 Seventh-level spells, Defensive Robes, Weapon Specialisation
14 Wizard feat
15 Eighth-level spells, Master Spellcaster
16 Wizard feat
17 Ninth-level spells, Resolve
18 Wizard feat
19 Archwizard’s Spellcraft, Legendary Spellcaster
20 Wizard feat

There are some generic level-up features that every Pathfinder character gets, so be sure to keep an eye on the Pathfinder 2e Core Rulebook as your character progresses. For now, let’s look at what the Wizard class features mean.

Pathfinder Wizard 2e casting a spell in battle (art by Paizo)

Arcane Spellcasting

Level: One

This refers to your ability to cast Wizard spells. Rules-wise, it means you can use the Cast a Spell activity, and Intelligence is your spellcasting modifier. You can prepare a certain number of spells and cantrips per day. We’ll look at spells in a bit more detail shortly.

Arcane School

Level: One

Wizards can choose to specialise in a particular arcane school (more on each of these later). You don’t have to stick to one school, but you do get extra spells and spell slots specific to your chosen school for each spell level you have slots for. Plus you can prepare an extra cantrip from that school and add an extra spell to your spellbook.

On the other hand, you could choose to be a universalist Wizard with fingers in many magical pies. This instead gives you a once-per-day use of Drain Bonded Item (see Arcane Bond below) equal to the level of Wizard spell slots you have. You’ll also get an extra Wizard feat, and you can add another first-level spell of any school to your spellbook.

A human Pathfinder Wizard 2e reading a book

Arcane Bond

Level: One

You form a powerful, magical bond with a specific item every time you prepare your spells. This gives you the Drain Bonded Item free action, which lets you cast a spell you’d prepared and already cast without using a fresh spell slot.

Arcane Thesis

Level: One

In a move that makes them relatable to stressed uni students everywhere, Wizards each produce a thesis on their chosen (magical) research topic. You can come up with whatever wordy, academic title you want for the thesis, but mechanically it’ll likely do one of the following:

  • Gives you the Familiar feat, and your familiar gains an extra ability at first, sixth, 12th, and 18th level; also gives you the Drain Familiar free action instead of Drain Bonded Item
  • Gives you a first-level metamagic feat at first level, plus an extra feat at fourth level you can swap out when preparing spells
  • Lets you trade two spell slots for a bonus spell slot a max of two levels higher or lets you trade one spell slot for two extra cantrips
  • Lets you dump a prepared spell and prepare a different one from your spellbook; this takes ten minutes, and the original spell remains if you’re interrupted

Pathfinder Wizard 2e blocking a spell from a spider creature (art by Paizo)

Lightning Reflexes

Level: Five

Think fast! This feature changes your proficiency rank for Reflex saving throws to expert.

Expert Spellcaster

Level: Seven

As your powers develop, you’ll find the arcane world a little easier to master. This means your proficiency rank for arcane spell attack rolls and spell difficulty checks is changed to expert.

Magical Fortitude

Level: Nine

This feature changes your proficiency rank for Fortitude saving throws to expert.


Level: 11

Your ability to keep those peepers peeled gets even better, as your Perception proficiency rank increases to expert level.

Pathfinder Wizard 2e pointing a staff to cast a spell (art by Paizo)

Wizard Weapon Expertise

Level: 11

You’ve had plenty of skill and saving throw proficiency boosts so far; now let’s take a look at your weapons arsenal. This feature gives you expert proficiency with all the main wizard weapons. Namely, this includes clubs, crossbows, heavy crossbows, daggers, staffs, and unarmed attacks.

Defensive Robes

Level: 13

Your unarmoured defence is now at expert level. Something about those wizard robes is great at keeping you out of trouble, even if you don’t don chainmail.

Weapon Specialisation

Level: 13

By now, you’re an expert in plenty of weapons. Weapon specialisation lets you deal two extra damage with attacks at the expert proficiency rank. Even better, you can deal three extra damage at master rank and four at legendary level.

Pathfinder Wizard 2e casting a spell on a zombie in battle

Master Spellcaster

Level: 15

You’re getting pretty good at this magic thing by level 15, so your proficiency rank for arcane spell attack rolls and spell difficulty checks have reached master level.


Level: 17

The ‘resolve’ referred to here is all in the mind. Your Will proficiency is now at master rank, and you get a critical success every time you succeed on a Will saving throw.

Archwizard’s Spellcraft

Level: 19

Archwizard’s Spellcraft grants you a tenth-level spell slot. You can only get one of these (unless you take a specific feat), so use it wisely. Because of its power, there are also a few extra rules you should take note of: you can’t use the spell slot on spells that are cast without using up a spell slot or give you more spell slots.

Legendary Spellcaster

Level: 19

Finally, you’re a legend in the Wizarding world; a caster of true renown. Arcane spell attacks and spell difficulty checks are now at legendary proficiency rank. 

Pathfinder Wizard 2e casting a spell on an enemy (art by Paizo)

Pathfinder Wizard spells

Here’s what a Wizard’s spell slots per day look like:

Wizard level Cantrips 1st-level spells 2nd-level spells 3rd-level spells 4th-level spells 5th-level spells
1 5 2
2 5 3
3 5 3 2
4 5 3 3
5 5 3 3 2
6 5 3 3 3
7 5 3 3 3 2
8 5 3 3 3 3
9 5 3 3 3 3 2
10 5 3 3 3 3 3
11 5 3 3 3 3 3
12 5 3 3 3 3 3
13 5 3 3 3 3 3
14 5 3 3 3 3 3
15 5 3 3 3 3 3
16 5 3 3 3 3 3
17 5 3 3 3 3 3
18 5 3 3 3 3 3
19 5 3 3 3 3 3
20 5 3 3 3 3 3
Wizard level 6th-level spells 7th-level spells 8th-level spells 9th-level spells 10th-level spells
11 2
12 3
13 3 2
14 3 3
15 3 3 2
16 3 3 3
17 3 3 3 2
18 3 3 3 3
19 3 3 3 3 1*
20 3 3 3 3 1*

*See Archwizard’s Spellcraft feature. 

Pathfinder Wizard 2e and companions exploring a forest (art by Paizo)

Pathfinder Arcane Schools

Some Wizards choose to be universalists, dipping their Wizard-y toes into multiple arcane schools. However, if you want to specialise (and gain access to the tasty school-specific extras), here’s a rundown on what kind of magic each school has to offer.


Abjuration magic is all about defence, protection, and preventing harm before it can be caused. It’s a top choice if you’re playing a particularly peaceful character or you want to play more of a supporting role in combat.


Conjuration is all about pulling things from thin air. This school’s spells let you summon creatures, create useful resources, or transport objects (and creatures!) to different places. If you want to go to war like Snow White and her forest friends in that one part of Shrek 3, Conjuration can make that happen.


Solving mysteries and finding out the latest gossip is a lot easier with Divination magic, as this school is all about magical methods of uncovering information. Whether you want to speak with plants and animals to gather your intel or mentally dissect another person, you can divine your way to the answers you’re after.

Pathfinder Wizard 2e and monk fight zombie cows (art by Paizo)


Enchantment uses magic to influence the state of creatures around you. This school of Wizards know that real power lies in the mind – and that control over another’s mind can reap many rewards. Control minds, bolster minds, confuse minds, or even melt minds. It’s all possible here.


Evocation magic focuses on harnessing the raw power of the elements. This can have plenty of supportive effects, but it also creates a lot of destruction. In the school of Evocation, the power of flames, lightning, water, and more are at your fingertips.


Illusion magic does what it says on the tin; it creates images and sensations that aren’t really there. Whether you want to delight allies with parlour tricks or throw an enemy off guard before the Barbarian socks them in the face, this’ll be the school to sign up to. Tricksy and cunning Wizards are welcome here.


Only the school of necromancy gives you total power over life and death. Sure, healing spells may be dime-a-dozen these days, but you know what isn’t? Zombies. Necromancy Wizards often lose friends for their choice of magical study, but they also gain friends too (the friends are zombies).


We see people turn one thing into something else all the time in life. Heat turns bread into toast, and time turns eggs into chickens; but Transmutation Wizards are the ones really doing transformations in style. Here you can warp the world around you to your whim. Fly, turn stone to flesh, or even shape time itself. The possibilities are endless. 

Pathfinder Wizard 2e squinting at a potion (art by Paizo)

Pathfinder Wizard feats

Wizards regularly learn new feats as they level up, giving them access to all-new abilities. Below you’ll find the different Wizard feat options:

Level Feats available
1 Counterspell, Eschew Materials, Familiar, Hand of the Apprentice, Reach Spell, Widen Spell
2 Cantrip Expansion, Conceal Spell, Enhanced Familiar
4 Bespell Weapon, Linked Focus, Silent Spell
6 Spell Penetration, Steady Spellcasting
8 Advanced School Spell, Bond Conservation, Universal Versatility
10 Overwhelming Energy, Quickened Casting, Scroll Savant
12 Clever Counterspell, Magic Sense
14 Bonded Focus, Reflect Spell, Superior Bond
16 Effortless Concentration, Spell Tinker
18 Infinite Possibilities, Reprepare Spell
20 Archwizard’s Might, Metamagic Mastery, Spell Combination