Although the concept of a spellcasting class certainly isn't new to Dungeons & Dragons, the Sorcerer class is fairly new. Sorcerers are great for players who want to have the reality-shaping cosmic power of a Wizard but aren’t too keen on the whole “books” thing. The powers of a Sorcerer are innate, and part of the incentive to play one is the potential for a dramatic backstory that might include a divine ancestor or a traumatic childhood experience.

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Each sorcerer has a Sorcerous Origin that is the source of your magical powers, each with its own perks and shortcomings that'll influence your playstyle. The best Sorcerer subclass for you depends on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, the module you're playing, the kind of Sorcerer you want to build, and the Skills and Feats you choose to complement your overall talent base.

Updated on July 23, 2021, by Kristy Ambrose: Now that D&D 5e has been up and running for a few years, there are plenty of homebrews and supplemental materials you can use to customize their games and characters. Players and DMs alike have discovered how versatile the Sorcerer class is, and including some interesting homebrew options, there are now more like 16 Sorcerer subclasses available. The official list has also expanded and now includes a total of seven Origins, also known as subclasses, for the Sorcerer.

7 Wild Magic

Via: Clint Clearley
  • Source: D&D Player's Handbook
  • Main Spells or Benefits: Wild Magic Surge, effects are unpredictable and range from comedic to catastrophic to fantastic.
  • Ideal Race: Half-Elf, Tiefling
  • Party Role: Damage

Make no mistake, Wild Magic is fun. It’s goofy and the Wild Magic Surge effects will bring some levity to the table, making it a good choice for a lighthearted campaign. There’s also a small chance that you can kill your entire party in a fiery explosion at Level 1 through no fault of your own.

Other than Wild Magic Surge, which can have good, bad, or neutral effects, most of your effects involve manipulating luck, which in this case means gaining occasional advantage on rolls and spending sorcery points to lower your enemies’ rolls and boost your allies’. The highest level ability, Spell Bombardment, is fairly unimpressive for an 18th level ability, only maybe giving extra damage die to spell damage once a turn. Still, it adds up, and this subclass is charming enough that you might want to choose it anyway.

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6 Storm Sorcery

Dungeons and Dragons - A wizard about to cast a spell
  • Source: Xanathar's Guide to Everything
  • Main Spells or Benefits: Heart of the Storm, start casting a spell of 1st level or higher that deals lightning or thunder damage, and stormy magic erupts from you.
  • Ideal Race: Half-Elf, Satyr, Changeling
  • Party Role: Damage

Storm Sorcery lets you embody the tempest, which means you get to do a lot of thunder and lightning damage. This Sorcerer subclass begins with Tempestuous Magic, which is essentially a better version of the disengage action that you can do as a bonus action when you cast a spell.

At higher levels, you get resistance and eventually immunity to both thunder and lightning damage, as well as the ability to deal guaranteed thunder or lightning damage in a small radius around you whenever you cast a thunder or lightning spell - great for forcing concentration checks on enemy casters. At level 18, you even get the ability to fly twice as fast as some other Sorcerous Origins and even let your friends come along with you. Overall, it's a very niche but still effective subclass.

Related: Dungeons & Dragons: All 10 Official Wizard Subclasses, Ranked

5 Aberrant Mind

  • Source: Tasha's Cauldron of Everything
  • Main Spells or Benefits: Psionic Spells, some that are normally exclusive to Wizards and Warlocks.
  • Ideal Race: Half-Elf. Tiefling, Yuan-Ti Pureblood
  • Party Role: Damage, Defense

This is the Sorcerer subclass for players that are also interested in Wizards or Warlocks, as it shares some of the same features, including abilities and spells. Players who want to try the Sorcerer's version of the Psionic Warrior can start their build by choosing a race with both high Intelligence and Charisma scores, abilities that are also important to other spellcasting classes.

One factor that makes Sorcerers unique from other spellcasting classes is their relatively small repertoire of spells, and since this subclass gives you several more to choose from, it's a popular option. It makes this subclass one of the more versatile, changing your role depending on what extra spells you choose.

4 Divine Soul

deva
  • Source: Xanathar's Guide to Everything
  • Main Spells or Benefits: Divine Magic, which gives you access to Cleric spells.
  • Ideal Race: Half-Elf, Changeling, Kalashtar
  • Party Role: Damage, Healing

Divine Soul lets you be a Sorcerer in Cleric’s clothing. Whenever you gain spells, you can choose them from the Sorcerer or Cleric spell lists, effectively giving you potential access to almost twice as many spells. Plus, you get one extra Cleric spell that doesn’t count against the number of spells you know based on your deity’s alignment.

Although the access to Cleric spells that can be cast using Sorcerer Metamagic is the main draw of the class, the other abilities aren’t worthless. The ability to add 2d4 to attack rolls or saving throws in tough situations, the ability to boost your and your allies’ healing, and the spectral wings that grant you the power of flight all come in handy. At the 18th level, you can even massively heal yourself if you are under half of your max HP. If your party is looking for a versatile secondary healer, Divine Soul is a good choice.

3 Clockwork Soul

mordenkainen d&d
  • Source: Tasha's Cauldron of Everything
  • Main Spells or Benefits: Clockwork Magic, adds a total of 10 known leveled spells normally exclusive to Warlocks, Clerics, Druids, and Wizards.
  • Ideal Race: Half-Elf, Kalashtar, Dragonborn
  • Party Role: Damage, Defense

The reliance of Clockwork Soul on a systematic, math-based approach makes it the polar opposite of the Wild Magic Sorcerer subclass. It's more systematic, relying on order and equilibrium, which is where the connection with some Druidic abilities can be found. Spells like Restore Balance, which can help your party out if you have Disadvantage, are one example. Clockwork Soul has a few things in common with the Divine Soul subclass in the sense that you have access to some healing and defense spells usually associated with Clerics.

2 Draconic Bloodline

An Armored Dragonborn
  • Source: D&D Player's Handbook
  • Main Spells or Benefits: Dragon Ancestor, determines the energy type of the Elemental Affinity ability (acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison).
  • Ideal Race: Dragonborn, Tiefling
  • Party Role: Damage

Draconic Bloodline works well with the classic blaster sorcerer build. It lets you deal extra damage and be temporarily resistant to a damage type associated with a kind of dragon. You get to choose the type, giving you more build options than the lightning and thunder of Storm Sorcery. You get more armor and HP than your usual arcane caster would get normally, which lets you avoid getting taken out of the fight by a lucky goblin archer.

Related: Dungeons & Dragons: All Official Rogue Subclasses, Ranked

Your Draconic Presence gives a mass AoE crowd control ability that lasts for a whole minute, effectively changing the entire course of an entire encounter. The only drawback is that your flight is slightly less effective than the flight of Divine Soul or Storm Sorcery since it will literally tear off your clothes when you use it.

1 Shadow Magic

drizzt fighting a sorcerer
  • Source: Xanathar's Guide to Everything
  • Main Spells or Benefits: Hound of Ill Omen, impose Disadvantage on your targets' saving throws.
  • Ideal Race: Human, Dragonborn, Satyr
  • Party Role: Damage, Defense

As a Sorcerer imbued with the unholy magic of the Shadowfell, your sorcerous powers are linked with darkness and undeath. You get Darkvision to 120 feet from level one, which is great for players using the human, Dragonborn, or certain Fey races. At level 3, you get the spell Darkness, which you can cast using sorcery points instead of a spell slot, and since you can see through it, you have Advantage against most enemies in the area.

You can also call on necromantic energies to prevent your own death, summon a hound that can walk through walls to pursue a nearby enemy, and teleport at will from shadow to shadow. At level 18, you can even turn into a shadowy form immune to most types of damage. Overall, this class is very powerful fairly early on, and only gains more utility as you level up, earning it the top spot on the list.

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