Sorcerers in 5th edition have a spell list that rivals that of the Wizard. The difference between the two lies in the source of the magic. Sorcerers have a natural casting ability through a few options, heritage being one.
This ties the Sorcerer to the spells chosen; unlike the Wizard, they cannot simply learn more spells. They can, however, change the function and impact of their spells significantly through the use of Metamagic.
- Best Sorcerer Spells 5e
- 20. Wish
- 19. Chill Touch
- 18. Dominate Monster
- 17. Finger of Death
- 16. Ice Knife
- 15. Magic Missile
- 14. Shield
- 13. Counterspell
- 12. Hold Monster
- 11. Disintegrate
- 10. Psychic Scream
- 9. Scorching Ray
- 8. Mental Prison
- 7. Chain Lightning
- 6. Banishment
- 5. Plane Shift
- 4. Tasha’s Mind Whip
- 3. Fire Bolt
- 2. Chromatic Orb
- 1. Chaos Bolt
- Final Thoughts
Best Sorcerer Spells 5e
Wish is the only spell in the game that has the possibility of being gone after the first cast. It is also one of the last spells available as a level 9 conjuration.
This makes it hard to put the spell higher on the list, even if it is one of the most powerful out there. Wish gives the caster the ability to use it to duplicate and other spell 8th level or lower.
The thing that makes it really powerful is the ability to literally wish for anything the player can think of. Be cautious, though, as there are often unintended consequences to using the spell in this manner.
19. Chill Touch
Chill Touch is not the most powerful cantrip around, but it lends itself well to metamagic and the versatility that a class with set spells is looking for.
It has a long range and deals 1d8 necrotic damage. The ability to cause disadvantage on the next saving throw gives this spell a little boost since the Sorcerer can effectively deal damage and aid in his allies’ success.
18. Dominate Monster
Dominate Monster is an 8th level enchantment spell that can turn a battle in your favor in a hurry. Chances are it isn’t going to be effective against creatures with legendary resistances, but it can be a lifesaver against multiple enemies swarming on the group.
It allows the otherwise “squishy” caster to add to melee or soak some damage, and at higher levels, this can be especially important.
17. Finger of Death
The 7th level necromancy spell Finger of Death is too good to not make the list. With a range of 60 feet and dealing damage of 7d8+30, the spell holds some merit.
The fact that it targets a constitution saving throw can be a draw back against chunky monsters. The best part of the spell is the automatic creation of a zombie if it is used to kill a humanoid.
16. Ice Knife
Ice Knife is a 1st level conjuration spell that fits well with the chaotic nature of the Sorcerer. The caster creates a shard of ice and makes a ranged spell attack.
On a hit, the target takes 1d10 piercing damage. If the shard hits or even if it misses the target and all creatures within 5 feet must make a dexterity saving throw or take 2d6 cold damage. The spell can be upcast to increase the cold damage by 1d6 per level.
15. Magic Missile
Magic Missile is an all-time classic spell. It is available at 1st level and is in the evocation school. The force damage dealing darts have a range of 120 feet and can be split to hit multiple targets.
The 1d4+1 damage per dart isn’t much, but it auto hits, and force damage is one of the least resisted in the game.
Magic Missile is normally a Wizard must have, but when the spells known are limited, it never hurts to have automatic damage dealer on hand. Plus, it can be upcast in a pinch and normally consumes a low-level spell slot.
Shield is a reaction spell available at 1st level from the abjuration school. The caster may use this spell as a reaction when hit by an attack or targeted by Magic Missile.
A floating shield of energy envelops the caster adding a +5 to their armor class until the start of their next turn. It also blocks Magic Missile automatically. This spell can be the difference of life and death for low level casters.
Reaction spells are great options for all casters, and Counterspell is no different. Available at 3rd level from the abjuration school of magic, Counterspell interrupts and potentially cancels out an enemy casters spell before it is cast.
It is a contested check on any spell above 3rd level or above the level, it is cast at. For example, if Counterspell is cast at 5th level, it will “counter” any spell cast at 5th level or lower. The DC is 10+ the spell level and uses the casters spell casting ability.
12. Hold Monster
Hold Monster is a 5th level enchantment spell that functions as great crowd control or as a focused fire trigger. The caster chooses a target creature who makes a wisdom save a failure results in the creature being paralyzed for the duration.
The creature can only make another save at the end of its turn. This means a smart caster with neutralize a target and allow his companions to attack with no resistance for at least a turn, possibly more.
A 6th level transmutation spell, Disintegrate, is a high damage multi-purpose spell that fits so well into the Sorcerer class. The caster can choose an object, creature, or magical effect like wall of force to target.
A creature must make a dexterity saving throw or take 10d6+40 force damage. It takes no damage on a successful save. If the damage reduces the creature to 0 hit points, it leaves only a pile of dust and magic items and can only be brought back by True Resurrection or Wish.
Large or smaller non-magical, and creations of magical force are automatically disintegrated. Huge or larger objects are affected in 10’ cubes. Magic items are unaffected by this spell.
10. Psychic Scream
Added in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, Psychic Scream is a great flavor enchantment spell at 9th level. The caster can choose up to 10 targets, but anything with an intelligence of less than 2 is unaffected.
The targets make an intelligence saving throw and, on a failure, take 14d6 psychic damage and are stunned. On a success, the targets take half damage and are not stunned.
If the target is killed by this spell, its head explodes. Stunned creatures can make an intelligence save at the end of their turn to end the effect.
9. Scorching Ray
Scorching Ray is a basic 2nd level evocation spell that allows the caster to unleash 3 rays of fire at the base level cast. Each ray hits with a ranged spell attack dealing 2d6 fire damage and can be fired all at one target or at multiple targets.
Upcasting this spell allows the caster to fire off an additional ray per level. Scorching Ray is just a good spell all around. It deals decent damage, is available at a low level, and is versatile in targeting. The downside is the fire damage, as it is the most resisted in the game.
8. Mental Prison
The 6th level illusion spell Mental Prison is a great one for Sorcerers, especially from a flavor perspective. It is valuable as an opportunity for respite from the party, damage dealt, and crowd control. The caster binds a creature in an illusionary cell.
The target can make an intelligence saving throw. On a successful save, the spell deals 5d10 psychic damage, and the spell ends. If, however, the target fails the save, they take 5d10 psychic damage and perceive the area around them as harmful.
The target cannot see or hear anything beyond the cell and is restrained. If the target passes through the cell in any way, they take 10d10 psychic damage, and the spell ends.
7. Chain Lightning
Another fantastic spell for any Sorcerer is the 6th level evocation of Chain Lightning. This fits thematically with almost any Sorcerer and is a high-power spell that can affect multiple targets.
The downside here is the dexterity saving throw for half damage. The caster chooses a target within the 150-foot range.
Three bolts of lightning then jump from that target to other targets within 30 feet. A failed dexterity save results in 10d8 lightning damage or half on a success.
Banishment is a 4th level abjuration spell that can come in clutch when used appropriately. This makes the Sorcerers list because it will often be overlooked by wizards for other spells of the same level.
The caster targets a creature in an attempt to send them to another plane of existence. The target must make a charisma saving throw or be banished.
If the target is native to the plane the caster is on, the target goes to a demi-plane and is incapacitated while there. At the end of the spells duration, or if it ends early, the creature returns to where it was before being banished.
If the creature is native to a different plane, there is a popping sound when it is banished, and it returns to its home plane. If the spell is maintained for the duration, the creature remains on that plane.
5. Plane Shift
This 7th level conjuration spell is flexible, and fixed spell list casters like the Sorcerer need that versatility.
Plane shift allows the caster to transport themselves and up to 8 other people to a location on another plane of existence. If a teleportation circle is known on that plane, then they may go there. Otherwise, the proximity to the location specified is up to the GM.
You can also use the spell to force a creature to another plane of existence, albeit a random location. The caster makes a melee spell attack, and the creature must make a charisma save or be teleported.
4. Tasha’s Mind Whip
A new 2nd level enchantment spell, Tasha’s Mind Whip is a potentially debilitating spell and a great pick-up for any Sorcerer. The caster lashes out mentally at a target in range. The target must make an intelligence saving throw.
A failed save results in 3d6 psychic damage and loses its reaction until the end of its next turn. Further, on the next turn, it can only choose one of the following: move, take an action or take a bonus action.
A successful save deals half damage and no other effects. The spell can be up cast for an additional target per level above 3rd. The targets must be within 30 feet.
3. Fire Bolt
The Fire Bolt cantrip is a classic choice for sorcerers because it works with metamagic and levels up as a cantrip. It is a basic fire-based attacking cantrip with 120 feet of range that deals 1d10 fire damage. It falls in line with the Warlocks Eldritch Blast.
Just because it is obvious and repeatedly used doesn’t mean its not a good choice. The opportunity to ignite objects not being worn or carried can come in handy once in a while too.
2. Chromatic Orb
The 1st level evocation spell Chromatic Orb provides critical versatility for any caster with a limited spell list. The material component is expensive, but if the 50 GP diamond is worth it for this spell. The caster can throw a baseball-sized orb with a range of 90 feet using a ranged spell attack.
The caster chooses the damage type from acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, or thunder. If the orb hits, it deals 3d8 damage at base level of the chosen damage type. The spell can also be up cast to add an additional d8 per level above 1st.
1. Chaos Bolt
The best Sorcerer spell has to be the exclusive Chaos Bolt. This is a 1st level evocation spell. While Chromatic Orb is versatile and that is important to a sorcerer, Chaos Bolt is versatile and wild all at the same time. The caster targets a creature with a ranged spell attack. The attack deals 2d8+1d6 damage.
This is where things get interesting. Before rolling the damage, pick one of the d8s. Whatever number comes up on that die determines the type of damage dealt. The types are acid, cold, fire, force, lightning, poison, psychic, and thunder.
If the same number comes up on both d8s, the bolt jumps to another target within 30 feet, repeating the process until there are no more targets or the dice come up different numbers. The spell can be upcast to add 1d6 damage per level above 1st.
The Sorcerer can get creative with how their spells function through metamagic. Keeping that in mind, it is good to have an assortment of spells that function well as stand-alone to help conserve those points.
The limited spells known also make each spell chosen just a little more important, so versatility is key. If the Sorcerer isn’t the only caster in the group, they can narrow down and focus on complimentary spells.
If they are the only caster, they have a spell list that rivals the wizards and can be just as effective.