All the Sorcerer Subclasses in Dungeons & Dragons

A depiction of a Dungeons and dragons sorcerer performing a spell at a ruined circular altar. Image by LeeSmith on Deviant Art

Unlike other casting classes in Dungeons & Dragons, magic comes from within a sorcerer. No gods, no pacts with eldritch beings, no long hours of research.

Sorcerers also have interesting ways to enhance their magic through Metamagic options and generating extra spell slots, using a special resource called sorcery points.

Though they’re very limited in the number of spells they can learn, sorcerers have plenty of interesting features in each subclass to make them a force to be reckoned with. At first level, you can choose a subclass to give your sorcerer a unique flavor and influence which spells will be available to you at higher levels.

Here’s a look at every sorcerer subclass in Dungeons & Dragons.

Aberrant Mind

This subclass is themed around psionic power, perhaps acquired by spending too much time in the presence of an otherworldly artifact or strange creature. Aberrant Mind introduced the concept of origin spells: 10 extra spells automatically assigned to your sorcerer as you gain levels, which significantly expands your repertoire.

Additionally, you can do cool things like speak telepathically, or cast origin spells without using a spell slot when you expend sorcery points.

Plus, if you decide you don’t like any of your origin spells, you can change them out as you level up—as long as the new spells are of the divination or enchantment schools.

Clockwork Soul

An artist rendition of a robotic clockwork sorcerer from dungeons and dragons. Artwork done by CODRAX on Deviant Art.
Image Credit: CODRAX on Deviant Art.

Clockwork Soul sorcerers are centered around balancing the chaos of the universe. Your core feature, Restore Balance, cancels the advantage or disadvantage on a die roll for an opponent or an ally.

At higher levels, you can see the inner workings of the universe’s mechanisms and ensure that no one can have advantage when attacking you.

Like Aberrant Mind, this sorcerer subclass introduced the concept of origin spells. You’re also able to swap out origin spells as you level up, but the new spells must be of the abjuration or transmutation schools.

Divine Soul

The Divine Soul sorcerer bridges the gap between arcane and divine magic for players who want to heal their party members as atheist clerics. They still draw power from themselves, not gods, but have been blessed or chosen in some way by godly entities.

This subclass also lets you choose spells from the sorcerer spell list and the cleric spell list, opening up your options considerably.

Divine Soul sorcerers can function just fine in a buff and healing role if you don’t have a cleric on the team, but people usually play sorcerers to do some major blasting damage: this subclass gives you access to radiant damage spells for extra oomph in a fight.

Unlike the newer subclasses above, Divine Soul sorcerers only gain one extra spell, and thus are quite limited in their spell list. Considering the dizzying number of options available from the cleric and sorcerer spell lists—and the dual roles required of healer and arcane blaster—that can be somewhat challenging for inexperienced players to take on.

Draconic Bloodline

A draconic-humanoid creature with red skin and horns wearing a revealing, loose purple dress while sitting upon her staff. Artwork by 50-Shades-Of_Faye on Deviant Art.
Image Credit: 50-Shades-Of-Faye on Deviant Art

Draconic Bloodline was the first sorcerer subclass proposed in the Player’s Handbook in 2015 and, while still a solid option, feels somewhat underwhelming compared to the numerous subclasses released since. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for powerful mechanics in D&D, newer is almost always better.

However, there is plenty to be said for roleplaying a person whose ancestor was a dragon. You automatically grow hardened scales to protect your fragile physical form, gain resistance to your chosen elemental affinity, and—if you can survive to 14th level—sprout permanent scaly wings in the same color as your draconic ancestor.

Shadow Magic

Shadow Magic is an interesting subclass that makes a traditionally frail sorcerer harder to kill by enhancing stealth abilities and giving you a special save to revive yourself, rather than falling unconscious when you take too much damage.

Most players favor the 6th-level feature Hound of Ill Omen, which lets you summon a faithful Hellspawn doggo to harass your enemies and protect your friends.

If that’s not enough, at higher levels you can teleport between shadowy areas to prevent enemies from ever seeing you in the first place. At 18th level, you gain the ability to become one with the shadows themselves and move through other creatures and objects in an ethereal form.

Storm Sorcery

An artist depiction of a storm sorcerer in the popular game Dungeons and Dragons. Artwork done by Murrmule on Deviant Art.
Image Credit: Murrmule on Deviant Art.

Plenty of players enjoy combining this subclass with the race Air Genasi for extra windy features, but it can be played by anyone.

Storm sorcerers rely mainly on lightning and thunder damage, so look for spells that deal that. Additionally, Storm Sorcerers are the only subclass to be made with front-line combat in mind, which can be tricky for new players.

One of your first features, Tempestuous Magic, lets you conjure wind to help you fly out of sticky situations. You’ll definitely need it, since most of your other features need enemies within 10 feet of you.

Most sorcerers can’t thrive in combat, but this subclass lets you emit sparks of lightning damage against anyone who would dare attack you up-close.

Wild Magic

If Clockwork Souls revolve around restoring order, then Wild Magic sorcerers are their polar opposite: they exist to create chaos.

Easily the most unpredictable subclass in Dungeons & Dragons, it’s highly recommended you ask your DM for permission to play this subclass. It might be beneficial to talk to the other players, as well, since your core component of wild magic surges will affect them.

People looking for a story-heavy, horror-based, or dramatic game are not the intended audience for this subclass. However, if you’re willing to take chances on some wacky shenanigans, you just might be lucky enough to be a successful Wild Magic sorcerer.

…assuming you don’t accidentally kill yourself first.

via GIPHY

For more Dungeons & Dragons guides, check out every artificer, monk, or cleric subclass or the best feats in Dungeons and Dragons.